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Report: Nuclear weapons drivers sometimes got drunk

By Associated Press
Monday, November 22, 2010 9:23 EDT
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Energy Department’s watchdog says government agents hired to drive nuclear weapons and components in trucks sometimes got drunk on the job, including an incident last year when two agents were detained by police at a local bar during a convoy mission.

The Energy Department’s assistant inspector general, Sandra D. Bruce, said her office reviewed 16 alcohol-related incidents involving agents, candidate-agents and others from the government’s Office of Secure Transportation between 2007 through 2009. A new report Monday said the incidents “indicate a potential vulnerability” in what it described as a “critical national security mission.”

There are nearly 600 federal agents who ship nuclear weapons, weapon components and special nuclear material across the U.S. The report said when agents drank overnight after checking into local hotels, their trucks were in “safe harbor” status.

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