University Fined for Lab Security Breach

By Laura Spadanuta, Assistant Editor

The University of California has agreed to pay a $2.8 million federal fine for a 2006 security breach at Los Alamos National Laboratory, according to the Associated Press. The university was the sole manager of the New Mexico nuclear weapons laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy until June 2006. 

By agreeing to this settlement, the university accepts responsibility for the security violations and will not seek a judicial review, according to a National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) press release. The fine was also decreased from the NNSA's initial $3 million penalty.

The security breach was discovered in October 2006 by Los Alamos police; more than 1,000 pages of classified documents and computer storage devices were found in the trailer of a former lab subcontractor worker during a drug bust.

The University of California is no longer the sole security manager for the Los Alamos lab. The management contract was bid out to a limited liability corporation called Los Alamos National Security, which is made up of the University of California and various other companies.

More information on lab security can be found in the November issue of Security Management.



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