Will Plowshares trio return to Y-12?


The Transform Now Plowshares protesters pose for photo on the eve of their break-in at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in July 2012. From left, Michael Walli, Sister Megan Rice, and Greg Boertje-Obed.

Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, confirmed that OREPA had extended a special invitation to the Plowshares protesters — Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed — to return to Y-12 later this summer for activities related to the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

The three were freed from prison last month after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned their conviction on sabotage charges. They will resentenced on other convictions associated with the July 28, 2012 break-in at the Oak Ridge plant, but it appears that the time already served will be sufficient for federal charges of damaging government property.

Hutchison said he renewed the invitation Tuesday night during a conference call in which two of the three — Rice and Boertje-Obed — participated, as well as others in the peace and anti-nuclear community. He said there’s been no decision at this point, and their availability may depend, in part, on the date and logistics for their resentencing by U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar.

The Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance has staged protests and remembrance ceremonies at Y-12 for many years, particularly around the anniversary of the Aug. 6, 1945 bombing of Hiroshima. Y-12 produced the enriched uranium for the “Little Boy” atomic bomb.

This year, a series of events are being planned for the week of Aug. 6, Hutchison said.

A feature on Atomic City Underground allows readers to sign up for email updates and receive a notice each time new information is posted on the news blog. Just put your email address in the box on the lower right of the blog’s front page and follow instructions. Thanks to all loyal readers.

This entry was posted in CNS, NNSA, nuclear, Plowshares, security, UPF, Y-12 on by .

About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.