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Report: Weapons Lab Lacked Safety

November 3, 1999

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Managers at the weapons labs run by the University of California did not put enough emphasis on security, according to a review commissioned in the wake of espionage allegations.

The report released Tuesday and written by a special committee of the UC President’s Council on the National Laboratories said management took lab security ``for granted.″

Trouble at the labs surfaced earlier this year with reports that China had obtained classified information about a weapon designed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

There were some suggestions that UC, which has managed Los Alamos and the Lawrence Livermore nuclear labs since their inception, should lose its contracts with the Energy Department.

The new report found that the labs had been emphasizing the scientific and engineering challenges of nuclear weapons over security, adding that the end of the Cold War and the department’s emphasis on declassifying documents may have contributed to that.

Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, who recommended reviewing UC’s management role, called the report ``an important first step″ and said UC must follow the recommendations to enhance security.

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