published Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Jury finds 3 guilty of Y-12 National Security Complex break-in


Aerial photograph of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge.
Aerial photograph of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge.
Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

KNOXVILLE — A federal jury has found an 83-year-old nun and two fellow protesters guilty of breaking into the Y-12 National Security Complex and defacing a uranium processing plant.

It took the jury about 2 1/2 hours to find the three protesters guilty of a charge of interfering with national security and a second charge of damaging fed0eral property.

The trio spent about two hours inside the Oak Ridge facility in July, cutting through fences to reach a facility known as the “Fort Knox of uranium.” Once there, they painted slogans, chipped off a part of a wall with hammers and splattered human blood on the exterior.

Officials maintain that there was never any change the protesters would reach the uranium stored inside, but prosecutors argued the security breach harmed the Oak Ridge facility’s international reputation and that operations continue to be disrupted by the action.

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