Nuclear Security: Actions Needed by DOE to Improve Security of Weapons-Grade Nuclear Material at Its Energy, Science, and Environment Sites, Statement of Gene Aloise, Director, Natural Resources and Environment, Testimony before the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations, House Committee on Government Reform   [open pdf - 218KB]

"A successful terrorist attack on a Department of Energy (DOE) site containing nuclear weapons material could have devastating effects for the site and nearby communities. DOEs Office of the Under Secretary for Energy, Science and Environment (ESE), which is responsible for DOE operations in areas such as energy research, manages five sites that contain weapons-grade nuclear material. A heavily armed security force equipped with such items as automatic weapons protects ESE sites. GAO was asked to examine (1) the extent to which ESE protective forces are meeting DOEs existing readiness requirements and (2) the actions DOE and ESE will need to take to successfully defend against the larger, revised terrorist threat identified in the October 2004 design basis threat (DBT) by DOEs implementation deadline of October 2008. To ensure that DOE and ESE protective forces can meet the terrorist threat contained in the 2004 DBT, GAO made five recommendations to the Secretary of Energy to, among other things, address weaknesses with protective officers equipment and coordinate ESE efforts to address the 2004 DBT. DOE concurred with and accepted GAOs recommendations and provided an update on actions it anticipated taking to address GAOs recommendations."

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