WASHINGTON - Federal agents hired to transport nuclear weapons and components across the United States sometimes got drunk while on convoy missions, a government watchdog said yesterday.

The Energy Department's assistant inspector general, Sandra D. Bruce, said her office reviewed 16 alcohol-related incidents between 2007 and 2009.

According to a report from the department, in one case in 2007, an agent was arrested for public intoxication. In another last year, police handcuffed and temporarily detained two agents after an incident at a bar.

- AP