WASHINGTON, June 3 (UPI) -- A confidential list of U.S. civilian nuclear sites was inadvertently posted online for about a day before the information was removed, officials said.
The draft declaration of U.S. nuclear facilities for the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency contained descriptions of civilian sites, including storage locations for enriched uranium and other materials used in nuclear weapons, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Posted Monday, the document was available on a Government Printing Office Web site before media inquiries prompted its removal Tuesday.
The draft document was intended to be a formal declaration to the International Atomic Energy Agency, fulfilling part of U.S. obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Post said. The Obama administration submitted the document last month to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs for technical review.
Nuclear experts told the Post the listings possibly could benefit terrorists considering an attack on one of the facilities. However, the experts said the information was unclassified and most of it is publicly available through other sources.
The information is considered confidential but not classified, The New York Times said.
"It is probably not that dangerous, but it is a violation of the law," said David Albright, a former U.N. nuclear inspector and president the Institute for Science and International Security. "You don't want this information out there, any more than you would want a thief to know the location of a vault in your house."
Gary Somerset, a spokesman for the printing office, told the Times the office "produced" the document "under normal operating procedures" but removed it from its Web site pending review.