Nun, 84, Gets 3 Years for Breaking Into Uranium Locker

Megan Rice was one of 3 activists charged with defacing storage bunker

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Feb 18, 2014 5:44 PM CST

(Newser) – An 84-year-old nun has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for breaking into and defacing a storage bunker holding bomb-grade uranium in a peace demonstration at a Tennessee weapons plant. Megan Rice was sentenced Tuesday along with activists Greg Boertje-Obed, 58, and Michael Walli, 65. The men were sentenced to more than five years in prison. All sentences were less than the recommended minimum guidelines, the Knoxville Sentinel reports.

Rice asked Judge Amul Thapar to put her in prison for life, but he declined. "I just can’t accommodate you on that," he said. The three activists cut through three fences on July 28, 2012, and reached a storage bunker that holds the nation's primary supply of bomb-grade uranium. They painted messages, hung banners, and threw blood on the bunker wall. While officials claimed there was never any danger of the protesters reaching materials that could be detonated or used to assemble a dirty bomb, the break-in raised serious questions about security.

In this Monday, May 6, 2013, file photo, anti-nuclear weapons activists, from left, Michael Walli, Sister Megan Rice and Greg Boertje-Obed arrive for their trial in Knoxville, Tenn.
In this Monday, May 6, 2013, file photo, anti-nuclear weapons activists, from left, Michael Walli, Sister Megan Rice and Greg Boertje-Obed arrive for their trial in Knoxville, Tenn.   (Michael Patrick)
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