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US nuclear security agency missing 20 PCs

Bombs away!

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Twenty desktop computers are missing from the US government department responsible for safeguarding technical secrets about nuclear weapons.

According to a recent audit by the Energy Department inspector general, 14 of the PCs were used to process classified information. The audit also found the department was using computers not listed in its inventory and one listed as "destroyed", the New York Times reports.

The National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) has a dismal record for keeping track of its PCs. The audit is the 13th time in four years that the agency has failed a PC inventory audit. "Problems with the control and accountability of desktop and laptop computers have plagued the department for a number of years," the report notes.

the NNSA's record would be considered poor for a low security environment, suchas a college, say - but it beggars belief for an agency charged with monitoring and countering efforts to steal bomb information.

Craig Stevens, a spokesman for the department, said Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman "recognizes that we need to manage this place better". ®

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