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Contact: Susan Houghton
Phone: (925) 422-9919
E-mail:houghton3@llnl.gov
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2003
NR-03-05-03

LLNL Statement on Key Situation

On April 17, LLNL Security reported a missing security key set that was assigned to a Protective Force Officer and normally stored in a Security key storage cabinet. The keys were discovered missing during a routine shift-change key reconciliation.

The keys as a stand-alone would not have allowed undetected access into those buildings containing national security assets and classified materials. Due to redundant access controls and security safeguards in place, multiple levels of authorization are required for entry into buildings containing national security assets. These access controls include electronic key card locks, computer controlled access systems, vaults, alarms, intrusion detection systems and the physical presence of security personnel at key locations. National security assets were at no time subject to significantly increased risk.

Upon discovering the keys were missing, operational security personnel took immediate action by initiating comprehensive searches of on-site and off-site facilities and patrol vehicles. The keys have not yet been located.

As a precautionary measure, the appropriate security locks at the Laboratory were changed and additional security safeguards- such as extra patrols- put into place. The Lab has also modified the check out procedures for security keys and has launched three internal investigations to resolve the situation.

Laboratory Director Michael Anastasio has briefed officials at the University of California and the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. In addition, Director Anastasio has initiated a review by an independent, external team.

“This is an incident I take very seriously,” said Anastasio. “We are reviewing this aggressively and making the necessary improvements to our key handling and storage procedures. Due to the redundant security systems in place, our national security assets were not subject to significant risk. The information from our internal investigations, as well as the conclusions we receive from the external review team will help us ensure this does not happen again.”


Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Laboratory news releases and photos are also available electronically on the World Wide Web of the Internet at URL http://www.llnl.gov/PAO and on UC Newswire.


Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory that develops science and engineering technology and provides innovative solutions to our nation's most important challenges. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.