Nuclear Security: Security Issues at DOE and Its Newly Created National Nuclear Security Administration, Statement of Gary L. Jones, Associate Director, Energy, Resources, and Science Issues, Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Commerce, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 57KB]

In this report the General Accounting Office (GAO) provides its observations on the Department of Energy's (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) security programs to protect against theft, sabotage, espionage, terrorism, and other risks to national security at its facilities. Congress established NNSA on March 1, 2000, as a semi-autonomous agency within DOE with responsibility for the nation's nuclear weapons, nuclear nonproliferation activities, and naval reactors programs. NNSA was established to correct long-standing management and security problems at DOE's nuclear facilities. GAO's testimony focuses on (1) oversight of safeguards and security programs at DOE and (2) security issues with NNSA. This testimony is based on GAO's numerous reviews of security at DOE--in particular, GAO's recently issued report to the full Committee entitled "Improvements Needed in DOE's Safeguards and Security Oversight" --and testimony presented earlier this month before the House Armed Services Special Oversight Panel on Department of Energy Reorganization. Sound management and independent oversight of security at DOE's nuclear facilities is critical to ensure that security problems are identified, raised to the attention of the highest levels in DOE, and corrected. DOE has recently made a number of improvements to its security oversight. However, GAO's February report to the Committee discussed several areas where security oversight could be further strengthened.

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