Texas nuclear arms factory activates “emergency response’ due to “security event”– plant on LOCKDOWN
AMARILLO, TX. — October 24, 2018
The Pantex weapons assembly in Amarillo (Texas) activated its Emergency Response OrganizationTuesday shortly before 1pm local time.
The factory tweeted: "The Pantex Plant is experiencing an operational emergency.
"The Emergency Response Organization has been activated."
Officials at the plant say an “operational emergency” was the cause of the incident. They later described the situation as a security incident: “Pantex Plant Precautions are being taken due to a security event. Access to FM2373 has decreased north of Hwy. 60. Other precautions include assistance from Carson County Sheriff and Amarillo Police Department.”
But reports say the local police department called in the bomb squad and a "suspect" was detained.
A response effort was being conducted by the Emergency Response Organization, a highly-trained group of employees with detailed knowledge of plant operations and emergency response procedures.
These employees represent plant functions such as security, logistics, safety, medical response, radiological assessment, firefighting operations, and public information.
Pantex later announced the incident had ended – less than half an hour after the emergency started. No injuries were reported.
The plant said in a tweet: "The security event at Pantex has ended without incident. Thanks to the Carson County Sheriff and @AmarilloPD for their quick response."
The incident came just 24 hours after US president Donald Trump warned Russia and China that the US will be building its nuclear arsenal.
The Pantex plant is described as the country's primary facility for the final assembly, dismantlement, and maintenance of nuclear weapons.
As a major national security site, the plant and its grounds are strictly controlled and off-limits to all civilians, and the airspace above is prohibited to civilian air traffic.
According to their website, The Pantex Plant, located northeast of Amarillo,
is the nation’s primary facility for the final assembly, dismantlement and maintenance of nuclear weapons. Pantex is one of six production facilities in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Nuclear Security Enterprise. Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC manages and operates the facility along with the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee under a single contract from the U.S. Department of Energy/NNSA.