NNSA Announces New Policies Resulting From Security Reform Initiative

Press Release
Jul 8, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that it has completed the initial phase of a new Security Reform Initiative that will improve NNSA’s ability to implement its national security mission while maintaining a robust security posture at all of its sites. The initiative is focused on improving both the effectiveness and efficiency of NNSA’s security program by adopting improved risk management approaches. The new policies adopted through the Security Reform Initiative are based on national and Department of Energy requirements and standards, and support Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Poneman’s broader Departmental Safety and Security Reform Initiatives.

“NNSA takes its responsibility to secure nuclear weapons, special nuclear material, and classified or sensitive information and components very seriously,” said NNSA’s Chief of Defense Nuclear Security Brad Peterson. “The release of these new security policies is an important first step in using the Security Reform Initiative to drive improvements in our security posture while also ensuring that we are being a responsible steward of tax dollars. These reforms will ultimately result in updated security policies and practices that will maintain a robust security posture at all of our sites and improve NNSA’s ability to implement our vital national security mission.”

The NNSA Security Reform Initiative is focused on ensuring that our nuclear security enterprise has both the right policies and the right protection postures in place for an effective and efficient security program. It focuses on three areas: physical security, cyber security, and governance.

Since June 2009, NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Security has collaborated extensively with the NNSA field sites and the Department of Energy’s Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS). This collaboration enabled NNSA to effectively and comprehensively examine and analyze the security posture of NNSA as well as determine the appropriate policies for implementation at the NNSA sites. As a result of this constructive partnering and consultations, NNSA Administrator Tom D’Agostino signed NNSA policy letter (NAP) 70.4 on Information Security establishing protection and control requirements for classified matter, including Restricted Data. He also signed NAP 70.2 on Physical Protection, which establishes physical protection requirements for classified matter, facilities, and special nuclear material.

Together, those policies create clear guidance tailored to our unique and vital national security mission that establishes consistent corporate expectations for the protection of NNSA’s assets. They replace the current, existing Departmental security policies, which contain some areas that leave room for broad interpretation that has resulted in wide and varied security protection strategies across our enterprise.

This Security Reform Initiative will also create efficiencies that we expect will save the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars over the next five years while improving NNSA’s ability to implement its vital national security mission in a way that is consistent with appropriate and responsible security requirements.

These new policies are the first in a series of security reforms that NNSA intends to make to both improve the way we do business and increase the efficiency of operations.

Read NNSA Policy Letter 70.4 on Information Security PDF icon

Read NNSA Policy Letter 70.2 on Physical Protection PDF icon

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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 in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the 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.