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Contact: David Schwoegler
Phone: (925) 422-6900
October 10, 2003

Unlocked Gate Statement

On October 8, 2003 at 5:30 P.M., Protective Force Division officers closed and locked the internal gates at Post 3C, near the chemistry building. That post controls traffic between a property-controlled and a limited-access area. At 5:37 P.M., a PFD sergeant checked the gates, as is normal procedure, and verified they were closed and secured.

At the 10:00 P.M. shift change, more routine gate checks were made. When 3C was checked, its gates were closed. But the gate leading into the controlled area was not locked. And the position of the lock and chain were changed from when the sergeant had verified it. The outbound gate remained both closed and locked.

Although national security was not at risk, the Laboratory is treating this incident very seriously. In conjunction with the FBI, the Lab's Office of Investigative Services is leading an investigation that will focus on two element: who unlocked the gate and why?

The investigation will cover the procedures, personnel, audit trails and all other elements associated with the incident. At this point there are no conclusions or suspected theories, and all feasible underlying causes will be considered.

This event followed an earlier unlocked gate incident that prompted many compensatory measures. Those measures worked successfully in identifying, defining and mitigating this current incident.


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.

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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.