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Protesters convicted of breaking into nuclear facility

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — An 83-year-old nun and two fellow protesters were convicted Wednesday of interfering with national security when they broke into a Tennessee nuclear weapons facility and defaced a uranium processing plant.

It took a jury about 2½ hours to find the protesters guilty of a charge of sabotaging the plant and second charge of damaging federal property in July the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge in July.

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Defense attorneys said that federal prosecutors had overreached in the charges because of the embarrassment caused by the break-in.

“The shortcomings in security at one of the most dangerous places on the planet have embarrassed a lot of people,” defense lawyer Francis Lloyd said. “You’re looking at three scapegoats behind me.”

Prosecutor Jeff Theodore dismissed claims that the protesters had helped security.

Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli, and Greg Boertje-Obed said they have no remorse.

The defendants spent two hours inside Y-12.

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