Whistleblowers and good government groups have been begging the Department of Energy for years to do something about the slipshod security at its nuclear weapons labs -- only to have those pleas ignored.But something potentially revolutionary happened on Friday. Instead of giving the watchdogs the finger, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced a series of defensive measures that were taken straight from the watchdogs' wish list.Atomic storehouses, vulnerable to terrorist attack, will be emptied of their radioactive loads, Abraham promised in a speech at the Savannah River nuclear facility in Georgia. Classified data will be better locked down, on diskless computers. And the rent-a-cops that have been so laid-back in their protection the country's uranium supply they might even be replaced with a federal force.My Wired News article has details.THERE'S MORE: Ian Hoffman, one of the deans of the nuclear security beat, isn't buying Abraham's tough talk."The Energy Department undergoes a major security overhaul on average every three years," he writes, "and the practical impact of Abraham's reforms -- how much more secure will nuclear weapons sites be -- was debatable."

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