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INL’s Tactical Response Force has Weaknesses

flickr.com, Idaho National Laboratory

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials say the Idaho National Laboratory unit charged with protecting special nuclear material has some flaws that need fixing. The U.S. Department of Energy recently identified a handful of weaknesses in INL’s Tactical Response Force.

Weaknesses highlighted in the Nov. 30 report are related to equipment, coordination and communication that could cause confusion and even public injury if nuclear material used in research was ever stolen from the site. INL Director of Security Tom Middleton told the Post Register the response force will do everything required by DOE to bolster the unit.

Specific weaknesses cited included a lack of sirens or public address systems on force vehicles and the absence of lights visible in a 360-degree arc. The inspection occurred between October 2011 and September 2012.

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