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Material Protection, Control, and Accounting Program

February 01, 2011

The NNSA's Material Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A) Program, within the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, plays a key role in these efforts.  The MPC&A Program serves as a first line of defense in preventing nuclear terrorism by working cooperatively with international partners to secure and eliminate potentially vulnerable nuclear weapons and weapons-usable material.  By addressing potential vulnerabilities at their source, the MPC&A program is a key defense against nuclear theft and terrorism and helps partners develop a robust, comprehensive, and domestically sustainable MPC&A infrastructure. The MPC&A Program emphasizes improvements in physical protection, protective forces, material control and accounting, nuclear security culture, and creating an infrastructure that supports these programs.

Nuclear Security

  • Cooperated with Russia to install nuclear security upgrades at 73 Russian nuclear warhead sites: 39 Navy sites, 25 Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF) sites, and nine sites of the 12th Main Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense.
  • Cooperating to improve nuclear security at 34 Russian  and FSU nuclear material sites.  Within Russia, a total of 229 buildings  containing nuclear material have been identified for security upgrades. Upgrades at 213 of these buildings have been completed (92%) to date.
  • Completed upgrades in 2010 to five other buildings, which do not contain nuclear material, such as central alarm stations, entry control facilities, and guard stations.
  • Engaged in ongoing nuclear security best practices dialogues with both China and Russia.


Material Consolidation and Conversion 

  • Worked with Russia to consolidate weapons-usable nuclear materials into fewer buildings at fewer sites in Russia and other countries. Consolidation reduces long-term costs for installing and maintaining security upgrades.
  • Worked to achieve further risk reduction by downblending weapons-usable highly enriched uranium (HEU) not from weapons to low enriched uranium (LEU).  More than 13 metric tons of Russian non-weapons HEU have been down-blended to date


Sustainability and Security Infrastructure  

  • Cooperated with Russia to enhance national-level MPC&A Russian infrastructure by developing regulations and procedures for MPC&A operations, strengthening inspection and oversight capabilities, enhancing  nuclear security culture, developing training and education programs, upgrading protective force training and housing facilities, and upgrading key elements of the nuclear weapons and material transport infrastructure.
  • Worked with Russia and other FSU partners to implement 186 MPC&A regulations into the development phase to date.
  • Worked with Russia to upgrade secure transportation assets for nuclear material. As of October 2010, 101 cargo trucks, 119 escort vehicles, 78 cargo railcars, 25 guard railcars and 283 security overpacks (reinforced nuclear material transport containers) have been deployed.
  • Supported sustainability of Russian nuclear warhead site security through a network of regional technical centers and jointly coordinating site initiatives that will enhance spare parts provision, maintenance, repair, logistical support and training.
  • Worked with Russian and Canadian partners to establish  a counterterrorism training center for  Russian MOD personnel responsible for protecting nuclear weapons in transit.
  • Worked with Russian MOD to establish a Personnel Reliability Program (PRP) covering personnel with nuclear weapons responsibilities. 
  • Signed the “Concept for Transitioning Joint United States and Russian Federation Technical Support and Sustainment of Nuclear Material Security Enhancements to the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense”, with USDoD and RF MOD, establishing the framework for transition of USG support for upgraded  MPC&A systems to the Russian Federation.  
  • Worked on the establishment of 5 closed-city radiation screening checkpoints.