Nuclear Nonproliferation: Security of Russia's Nuclear Material Improving; Further Enhancements Needed, Report to Congressional Requesters [open pdf - 4MB]
The Department of Energy (DOE) is improving security of 192 metric tons of weapons-usable nuclear material in Russia by installing modern security systems that detect, delay, and respond to attempts to steal nuclear material. These systems, while not as stringent as those installed in the United States, are designed to reduce the risk of nuclear material theft at Russian sites. While Russia and the United States have worked cooperatively to reduce the risk of theft in Russia, Russian officials' concerns about divulging national security information continue to impede DOE's efforts to install systems for several hundred metric tons of nuclear material at sensitive Russian sites. Continued progress in reducing the risk of nuclear material theft in Russia hinges on DOE's ability to gain access to Russia's sensitive sites and reach agreement with the Ministry of Atomic Energy to reduce the number of sites and buildings where nuclear material is located. DOE currently does not have a means to periodically monitor the systems to ensure that they are operating properly on a continued basis. Such as mechanism would provide DOE officials with increased confidence that the security systems are reducing the risk of nuclear material theft. The strategic plan developed by DOE should provide an estimate of how much sustainability assistance is required on the basis of an analysis of the costs to operate and maintain the systems and the sites' ability to cover these costs. In addition, the plan should provide options for completing the program on the basis of the progress made on gaining access to sensitive sites and the closure of buildings and sites.
Government Accountability Office (GAO): http://www.gao.gov/