WASHINGTON , D.C. - The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has implemented more than 70 percent of the recommendations in an independent review of security across the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, NNSA Administrator Linton F. Brooks said today. He added that most of the other recommendations should be addressed by the end of the year.
The panel was announced by Brooks in July, 2003 in a five-part initiative to reinforce security oversight and strengthen long-term security operations in the nuclear weapons complex. Brooks asked retired Navy Admiral Richard Mies to examine security structure, organization, interrelationships, and policies, procedures and practices. Mies and his team assessed security in the field and reviewed procedures in NNSA headquarters from October, 2003 to April, 2004. An initial draft report was provided to NNSA in April, 2004 and a final report in May, 2005.
"Admiral Mies correctly identified a number of institutional concerns that we also have recognized and have worked to change during the last three years," Brooks said. "I believe that security oversight and execution are greatly improved over where we were when I asked for this review. Admiral Mies advised NNSA about his findings as the review was underway and that has helped us get to where we are today."
Panel recommendations that NNSA has implemented include:
- Consolidating security functions and responsibilities under a single, responsible office at headquarters
- Establishing an Office of Security Oversight to assess and validate security performance and identifying areas of improvement
- Establishing a stronger vulnerability assessment capability
- Identifing protective force skills needed to protect nuclear weapons facilities
- Conducting more headquarters reviews of field security planning documents
- Strengthening formal ties and cooperation with Department of Defense
- Establishing a program management plan to formalize security program planning
"I appreciate the work Admiral Mies and his panel did in reviewing our security. As his report notes, preserving nuclear security is a national imperative and an exceptional challenge, but it's a challenge NNSA's personnel are meeting every day," Brooks said.
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 energy. 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.
Bryan Wilkes (202) 586-7371