Two anti-nuclear activists were sentenced to jail yesterday for acts of civil disobedience at the Y-12 National Security Complex, a key U.S. nuclear weapons production and maintenance compound, to protest a proposed major new facility at the Oak Ridge, Tenn., site.
Jean Gump and Jesuit Fr. Bill Bichsel, part of a group of twelve activists who were found guilty last May of criminal trespass at the site, were sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton to time served and three months in jail, respectively.
Construction of a major new nuclear weapons manufacturing facility at the Oak Ridge complex, projected by the Army Corps of Engineers to cost some $7.5 billion, was officially announced by the federal government July 25.
Gump and Bichsel were part of a group of 13 who took part in the July 5, 2010, action, which came at the end of a 200-strong peace rally outside the gates of the complex. After a prayer vigil, 13 people climbed over a barbed wire fence onto the property and were arrested, Ralph Hutchison, a coordinator for the group opposing the new Tennessee facility’s construction, told NCR in May.