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Nun breaks into US nuclear facility

An activist group, including an 82-year-old nun, breached security at a facility housing weapons-grade uranium.

Sister Mary RiceEnlarge
Sister Mary Rice, seen here in this screenshot from ABC News, reportedly breached security at a US nuclear facility. (YouTube/Screengrab)

The only facility for handling, processing and storing weapons-grade uranium in the US was temporarily shut this week after anti-nuclear activists breached its security system, Reuters reported.

According ABC, that activist group included Sister Megan Rice, an 82-year-old nun. 

Rice, along with at least two other activists, cut through perimeter fences to reach the outer wall of a building where highly enriched uranium, a key nuclear bomb component, is stored, according to the Irish Times. Officials said the group, which goes by the name Transform Now Plowshares, painted slogans and threw what is believed to be human blood on the wall of the facility. 

Ralph Hutchinson, coordinator for the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, told Reuters group's intention was not to point out the lack of security, but to take a stance against the making of nuclear weapons.

"It wasn't so they could show how easy it was to bust into this bomb plant, it was because the production of nuclear weapons violates everything that is moral and good. It is a war crime."

The US Department of Energy hired the private film WSI Oak Ridge to provide security at the facility. WSI is a subsidiary of the international security firm G4S, the same firm who drew criticism for failing to provide adequate security for the 2012 London Olympic Games. The group insisted that the nuclear material was never compromised, according to Reuters. 

More on the story from ABC News: 

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120803/nun-breaks-us-nuclear-facility