After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, NNSA took steps to protect its critical facilities from vehicle bombs and strengthened its facilities against attacks. NNSA has begun consolidating its nuclear weapons material which reduces the number of targets to be protected. It has hardened its storage vaults and improved facility configurations, and installed anti-air, anti-vehicle, and anti-personnel capabilities. NNSA also implemented a “denial” strategy to interdict and destroy an enemy’s access to a nuclear weapon or large stores of special nuclear material. And it provided back-up “recapture and recovery” strategies that do not allow an adversary to escape from an NNSA site with special nuclear material.
NNSA remains focused on deploying technology-based solutions, as force multipliers, to improve site defenses, including the critical aspects of detection, assessment, delay, and response. Its forces have tactical control over wider areas surrounding nuclear materials storage and processing facilities.
In addition to state of the art technology, sites have highly effective low technology measures to upgrade physical security features. NNSA uses, for example, concrete blocks, razor-wire barriers, and steel-plated fighting positions to upgrade its physical security features. It has eliminated public access to roads near special nuclear material facilities and installed physical barriers around key entrances to sites and critical facilities to protect against vehicle bombs and to delay vehicle and personnel movement. Physical barriers have also been installed around key approaches to sites and critical facilities to provide increased standoff distances and to delay vehicle and personnel movement. NNSA continues to identify and evaluate technology solutions that will enable its forces to improve the confidence in protective strategies while reducing the overall costs of security.
Security Systems Engineering Team
NNSA continues to build upon the past success of the Security Systems Engineering Team (SSET) in the areas of information sharing and technology identification. Previous efforts to build a collegial atmosphere among NNSA security experts have been continued and expanded. The SSET holds quarterly meetings where members exchange security information freely and openly. Security experts from other federal agencies, as well as representatives from the United Kingdom, also participated in SSET meetings. The SSET continues to draw participants from a wide variety of government and public organizations and is serving as a vital clearing house for the exchange of technical information and best practices.
Technology Deployment Program
The security Technology Deployment Program (TDP) is site, plant, and laboratory driven as each propose candidate security technology deployment programs that are evaluated and ranked by an internal process.
NNSA instituted an “enterprise” approach to future technology deployment. Focused first on wireless technology, an NNSA-sponsored “Motomesh Enterprise” task will develop the deployment framework documentation required for every NNSA site, leaving the remaining, more site specific documentation for each plant, laboratory, or site to develop. This enterprise-wide effort also guarantees a high degree of standardization across NNSA for wireless security deployments, ensures requisite performance standards are achieved and minimizes maintenance, modifications, and software update costs in the future.
NNSA focused the second “enterprise deployment” effort on its Argus security system beginning this year under the current contract at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Livermore not only developed Argus, but also developed much of the other security technology in use today across the NNSA. By focusing the second enterprise-wide effort at Livermore, NNSA plans to effect yet another round of cost savings through standardized technology deployment.