Fermilab Site Closes to Visitors in Response to Heightened National Security Alert

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Batavia, Ill.-Officials at the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory announced today (September 10, 2002) that the laboratory would close to most visitors, effective immediately. All visitors to Fermilab must now enter through the Pine Street gate on the west side of the laboratory. There, authorized visitors can obtain temporary visitors’ passes. The laboratory will also be closed to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

Fermilab, traditionally open to visitors, closed its gates in response to security concerns at federal facilities following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Last month Fermilab re-opened to public access. Today, Fermilab Director Michael Witherell announced that the laboratory would increase security measures once again.

“I have been advised that, by order of the Secretary of Energy and effective immediately, DOE facilities are to operate at an increased level of security. This is in response to a heightened level of security throughout the nation and will remain in effect until further notice,” Witherell wrote in a message to laboratory employees and visiting scientists.

Fermilab officials said they did not know how long the increased security measures will remain in effect at the laboratory.

Fermilab is a Department of Energy national laboratory, operated by Universities Research Association, Inc.