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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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DOE Backtracks on Lab Security Review
22 March 1999 7:00 pm
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has quietly shelved a plan to have a former intelligence chief lead a security check of its foreign scientist exchange program. Instead, another panel named by President Bill Clinton will review DOE's security measures, including those designed to prevent visiting scientists from penetrating classified areas and stealing secrets.
On 17 March, Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson announced that John Deutch, who headed the Central Intelligence Agency from 1995 to 1997, would help make sure that visiting foreign scientists weren't stealing secrets from DOE's 20 laboratories, including the three that specialize on designing nuclear warheads (ScienceNow, 18 March). The move came a day after Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), who leads a committee investigating allegations of Chinese spying at New Mexico's Los Alamos National Laboratory in the 1980s, called for temporarily shutting down the exchange program due to security concerns.
But the next day, Deutch's panel was apparently trumped by Clinton's decision to ask former Republican Senator Warren Rudman (R-New Hampshire) to lead a broader review. Deutch, a former DOE official and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, will continue to advise the department informally, sources say.
The switch came, according to one knowledgeable source, because "there were getting to be too many reviews." Besides Rudman's panel, a CIA committee is also looking into DOE's alleged espionage troubles. Meanwhile, Richardson has announced that his agency will be tightening up on background checks on the thousands of foreign scientists who visit U.S. government labs each year, most of whom work on unclassified projects unrelated to weapons development.