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Security Upgrades Completed at 25 Russian Nuclear Warhead Sites

WESTERN SIBERIA - With today's completion of U.S.-funded security upgrades at a Russian Strategic Rocket Forces base in Siberia, all of the security work at 25 Russian nuclear missile sites outlined in a 2005 agreement between Presidents Bush and Putin has been finished. The final base completed, known as GSM-5BR, is part of Russia's network of bases with intercontinental ballistic missile nuclear forces and personnel.

Now that these missile bases in Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces are more secure, a top official from the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said that the chance of unauthorized access to Russian nuclear weapons is greatly reduced.

"Completing this security work at the Strategic Rocket Forces sites helps to fulfill President Bush's commitment under the Bratislava joint statement with Russia, and shows our continued partnership with the Russians," said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation William Tobey. "We remain dedicated to working as quickly as possible to secure nuclear weapons and other dangerous materials in Russia and around the world to prevent unauthorized access."

Under the 2005 joint nuclear security statement issued by President's Bush and Putin at Bratislava, NNSA committed to upgrading the security at 25 Russian nuclear warhead sites in its Strategic Rocket Forces. The agreement covers 25 rocket sites at 11 Russian missile bases, and calls for NNSA to do this work as a part of its overall, annual $1.7 billion global nuclear nonproliferation and threat reduction mission.

Since 2003, NNSA has spent about $150 million to improve security at the 25 Russian Strategic Rocket Forces sites. Upgrades include state-of-the-art intrusion detection and monitoring systems, metal and explosives detectors, new entry control portals, and nuclear material detectors. In addition, security guard forces at the sites received strengthened fighting positions, a centralized response facility and look-out towers. The work was carried out through NNSA's Material Protection, Control and Accounting program by experts from Sandia and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.

NNSA has secured enough Russian nuclear material for thousands of warheads and has completed upgrades at more than 85 percent of the Russian nuclear warhead, material and missile storage sites of concern with work underway at the balance of sites to be completed by 2008. NNSA has also secured numerous nuclear material buildings outside of Russia.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized 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 United States and abroad.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371