Report Card on the Department of Energy's Non-Proliferation Programs with Russia   [open pdf - 3MB]

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, we have witnessed the dissolution of an empire having over 40,000 nuclear weapons, over a thousand metric tons of nuclear materials, vast quantities of chemical and biological weapons materials, and thousands of missiles. This Cold War arsenal is spread across 11 time zones and lacks the Cold War infrastructure that provided the control and financing necessary to assure that chains of command remain intact and nuclear weapons and materials remain securely beyond the reach of terrorists and weapons-proliferating states. This problem is compounded by the existence of thousands of weapons scientists who, not always having the resources necessary to adequately care for their families, may be tempted to sell their expertise to countries of proliferation concern. In order to assess the Department of Energy's part of current U.S. efforts to deal with this critical situation, in February 2000 Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson asked former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker and former White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler to co-chair a bipartisan task force to review and assess DOE's nonproliferation programs in Russia and to make recommendations for their improvement. The Task Force reached the following conclusions and recommendations: The most urgent unmet national security threat to the United States today is the danger that weapons of mass destruction or weapons-usable material in Russia could be stolen and sold to terrorists or hostile nation states and used against American troops abroad or citizens at home; Current nonproliferation programs in the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and related agencies have achieved impressive results thus far, but their limited mandate and funding fall short of what is required to address adequately the threat; The new President and leaders of the 107th Congress face the urgent national security challenge of devising an enhanced response proportionate to the threat; The President, in consultation with Congress and in cooperation with the Russian Federation, should quickly formulate a strategic plan to secure and/or neutralize in the next eight to ten years all nuclear weapons-usable material located in Russia and to prevent the outflow from Russia of scientific expertise that could be used for nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction.

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