WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has completed security enhancements to protect against theft or terrorist attacks at 50 Russian navy nuclear sites two years ahead of schedule. This achievement signifies the completion of nuclear material protection, control and accounting upgrades at all Navy-affiliated sites in the Russian Federation that contain nuclear materials or warheads.
"Denying terrorists access to nuclear material is our top priority. These upgrades to Russian navy sites make it that much harder for terrorists to get their hands on dangerous nuclear material," said NNSA Administrator Linton F. Brooks. "The fact that we have done this a full two years ahead of schedule shows the importance the administration places on securing nuclear weapons and material at the source and for nonproliferation work in general."
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, NNSA's effort to upgrade Russian military sites was greatly accelerated. The work was conducted under NNSA's International Materials Protection and Cooperation program in cooperation with the Moscow-based Kurchatov Institute and the Russian Ministry of Defense.
NNSA personnel, including technical experts from NNSA's Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, designed and oversaw the upgrades with the goal of protecting the nuclear sites against the risk of theft or attack by terrorists. Examples of security upgrades include the installation of physical protection systems, such as intrusion detection sensors, access controls and hardened defensive positions.
"We are also working closely with Russia to ensure that the upgrades we provide are sustained and maintained. Just last year, the Kola Technical Center was opened to train Russian guard forces and provide the technical infrastructure needed to make certain the upgrades are effective for the long term," said Brooks.
NNSA is also cooperating with the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces to upgrade security at 25 nuclear sites, which will be completed by the end of 2007. Additionally, NNSA just recently completed contract negotiations and has begun upgrades at the Russian military storage sites assigned to it pursuant to the 2005 Joint Presidential Statement made by Presidents Bush and Putin at the Bratislava Summit.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371