WASHINGTON -- Investigators are intensely looking for two computer hard drives, containing nuclear weapons secrets, discovered missing from a vault at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. The incident is prompting renewed questions in Congress over security at the federal research labs.
The disappearance of the nuclear weapons data was discovered more than a month ago, but was not made known to senior Energy Department officials until June 1. It was disclosed publicly Monday after a weeklong investigation by three dozen FBI and Energy Department agents who swept down on the lab.
''It's very sensitive ... technical data,'' retired Air Force Gen. Eugene Habiger, the Energy Department's security chief, said. He briefed Energy Secretary Bill Richardson on Monday on the disappearance.
The drives were found missing May 7 as the lab was threatened by wildfires that forced an evacuation three days later, officials said. The two drives may have been misplaced or accidentally destroyed in the confusion surrounding the oncoming fire that burned thousands of acres in and around Los Alamos, N.M., including some of the laboratory, last month.
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