Energy chief: Safety essential at Tenn. nuke plant

In this Aug. 17, 2012 file photo, signs warn against trespassing onto the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., on Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. Jury selection is getting underway for an octogenarian nun and two co-defendants accused of intruding into a national security facility in Tennessee that has had a hand in making, maintaining or dismantling parts of every nuclear weapon in the country's arsenal. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, FIle)

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) — The nation’s new energy secretary says he’s taking steps to make sure that security at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Tennessee isn’t compromised again.

Ernest Moniz (moh-NEEZ’) made the Oak Ridge National Laboratory his first official trip in office on Monday. He also visited the Y-12 National Security Complex, which was broken into by a nun and two other protesters last year.

Sister Megan Rice and protesters Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed (BOHR’-chee OH’-bed) were convicted last month of sabotaging the plant and damaging federal property.

A judge has ruled they must remain in jail until they are sentenced in September.

Moniz says safety and security are essential core elements of the U.S. Energy Department’s mission.

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