FIRST LOS ALAMOS, NOW SANDIA

Losing the keys to your apartment: totally annoying. Losing the keys to Sandia National Laboratories, one of the most important weapons research centers in the world? That's a potential national security disaster.For years, security problems have plagued Los Alamos National Laboratory. Now they seem to be spreading to its research sisters, as well.In a case with eerie similarities to the ongoing Los Alamos scandals, two investigators at Sandia National Laboratories were told they were "on thin ice" after their inquiries into security breaches went too far. And when master keys providing access to every Sandia lock disappeared, a third security official was told "to fake the investigation" into where the keys went, according to a letter sent on March 11th by Senator Chuck Grassley to Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham.Thankfully, the keys were later recovered, Sandia president Paul Robinson told reporters this week.Robinson said that two investigations of his lab had recently been completed: an internal Sandia assessment, and an examination of the lab's security force by the National Nuclear Security Administration. The people who protect Sandia have been accused of stealing government property, including lab-owned computer parts and software. There are allegations of major discipline breakdowns -- a dozen security police officers were observed eating, watching TV, and sleeping on duty. And then there are those keys.A third investigation is due to be completed in late April.

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