Auditors Find Security Clearances Active for Former Oak Ridge Nuke Workers

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Auditors found that security clearances were still active months after employees stopped working at a nuclear cleanup site in Tennessee.

The federal audit released today showed that Department of Energy managers extended clearances at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge.

A spokesman for the department said many of the more than 70 employees were expected to be rehired and the extensions avoided delays when workers were recalled.

But Inspector General Gregory Friedman said the practice posed a security risk.

Oak Ridge also is home to the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, the government's primary storehouse for bomb-grade uranium, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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