In a major goof-up, the US government has mistakenly made public a 'highly confidential' report that gives detailed information about hundreds of the nation's civilian nuclear sites and programmes, media reports said on Wednesday.
The publication of the 266-page document was revealed on Monday in an official online newsletter, says New York Times. It has triggered off a debate among nuclear experts about danger posed by the disclosures. It also prompted a flurry of investigations in Washington into why the document had been made public, the Times said.
After enquiry from the paper, the document was withdrawn from the website on Tuesday.
"These screw-ups happen," said John M Deutch, a former director of central intelligence and deputy secretary of defense. "It's going further than I would have gone but doesn't look like a serious breach, he said.
But David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group tracking nuclear proliferation, said that the information "can provide thieves or terrorists inside information that can help them seize the material, which is why that kind of data is not given out."