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Project on Government Oversight




Fire Sale at Nevada Test Site

March 20, 2003 


A new report from the Department of Energy Inspector General reveals yet another case of waste and fraud in our nation's nuclear weapons labs - this time at the Nevada Test Site. The case is eerily similar to fraud at Los Alamos National Laboratory that was publicized by POGO and is now the topic of a series of Energy and Commerce Committee hearings.

"The national labs are operating with no parental supervision. The labs have been given so much free reign under the guise of national security that no one is paying attention to what they are doing," says Danielle Brian, POGO's Executive Director.

The March 11th report, "Transfer of Excess Personal Property from the Nevada Test Site to the Community Reuse Organization" found that Nevada test site:

  • "received an average of 17 cents for each" of 23 trucks in good condition that had a combined acquisition value of $447,932;

  • "received a nickel" for a copy machine less than one year old that was purchased for $9,310;

  • "sold a drill rig to the local CRO [Community Reuse Organization] for $50,000 that is now being offered for sale by an out-of-state equipment broker for $3.9 million."

In October 2001, POGO released a report co-authored with more than a dozen DOE insiders and security experts concerned about lax security at our nation's nuclear weapons facilities. POGO staff member Peter Stockton, a former special advisor to Secretary Bill Richardson on security, has spearheaded the investigations. Since the release of the report, POGO has worked with numerous whistleblowers in the weapons complex to bring their concerns to Congress and the public including Los Alamos investigators Steve Doran and Glenn Walp and the Department of Energy's top safety engineer at Los Alamos who has repeatedly raised concerns about safety violations.

To view the DOE's Inspector General Report DOE/IG-0589:

To learn more about fraud and security breaches at Los Alamos investigated by POGO.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearings on "Procurement and Property Mismanagement and Theft at Los Alamos National Laboratory": 

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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