SCRIPT: Radioactive Road Trip (Primetime)

Our investigation set out to test security at MIT's reactor. To see how far our students could get. To see if the university properly guards key operating details. To see how close we could put this truck, which if loaded with explosives would have the potential of creating a dirty bomb that could affect large parts of the Boston area.

ROY ZIMMERMAN

The dirty bomb is a threat. We have concerns about dirty bombs. We don't want to see a dirty bomb occur.

BRIAN ROSS

So the MIT reactor became the principal focus for the two students assigned to the Northeast for our "Primetime" project.

ARIANA REGUZZONI, CARNEGIE FELLOW

My name is Ariana Reguzzoni. And I just graduated from UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

MICHAEL ANDERSON, CARNEGIE FELLOW

I'm Michael Anderson. And I am a student at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.

BRIAN ROSS

Starting on the Internet on MIT's own website, it took Ariana and Michael less time than it takes to download a few tunes to discover that the reactor's hours and days of operation are not secret, nor is its actual location.

MICHAEL ANDERSON

Get a satellite image if you wanted to look at it from above.

BRIAN ROSS

An unhappy surprise to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's security chief Roy Zimmerman.

BRIAN ROSS

You really want that out there publicly?

ROY ZIMMERMAN

It's something that is probably worth re-evaluating.

BRIAN ROSS

So, you're not happy to see things available?

ROY ZIMMERMAN

No, that's something I'd want us to pursue, and we will.

BRIAN ROSS

Even more surprising was what Michael and Ariana found at the MIT library in Cambridge, details that are supposed to be unavailable outside the university.

MICHAEL ANDERSON

You don't need an ID or anything to get in. I sat down at one of the catalog computers next to the circulation desk. And that counted as an on-campus computer, so I was able to access these links that I hadn't been able to from New York.

BRIAN ROSS

What they found and what we've blurred for security reasons were detailed floor plans of the reactor building itself. A gold mine for terrorists according to former Department of Energy security analyst Ronald Timm.

RONALD TIMM

This is what the bad guy is looking for when he lays out his plans. He's looking to say, 'Okay, if this is ground zero, where basically the reactor is at,' he's saying, 'What's the best way for me to get in there?'

BRIAN ROSS

For years, Timm worked with what are known as the red teams, the special units at the Department of Energy that challenge and test security at nuclear facilities.

RONALD TIMM

They're trained to the level that they expect the terrorists to be and actually try to beat the system by crawling over fences, crawling under fences and things of that nature.

BRIAN ROSS

But such security tests are not conducted against college nuclear reactors, even though federal officials maintain that college reactors are prepared for terror threats.

RONALD TIMM

I'm not sure where they get their confidence from.

BRIAN ROSS

Would you call this a heightened state of awareness?

RONALD TIMM

Not at all. I mean, there is no awareness. Not even a low level of awareness. There is no awareness going on.

BRIAN ROSS

We showed Timm what we found at the MIT reactor. First, Ariana and Michael arrived at the building for a scheduled tour with Michael wearing a large backpack. The school says it had a security man shadowing the two students.

BRIAN ROSS

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