RECOMMENDATION 4-3: The committee recommends that DOE sites regularly track and evaluate the information available to an adversary and use this information to improve their understanding of the most likely ways an adversary might attack a given site or other operations, such as transportation.

RECOMMENDATION 4-4: The committee recommends that DOE sites supplement their current vulnerability assessment processes with creative scenario generation techniques.

RECOMMENDATION 4-5: The committee recommends that DOE Headquarters take on the responsibility of defining an overall deterrence strategy for the nuclear weapons complex, subject to evaluation by deterrence subject-matter experts.

RECOMMENDATION 5-1: The committee recommends that DOE focus its communication efforts aimed at Congress and the administration on risk management rather than on the risk to the nuclear weapons complex. This communication should draw on the total systems approach and scenario generation processes recommended by the committee.

RECOMMENDATION 5-2: The committee recommends that DOE take steps to ensure a more integrated and collaborative environment for functional responsibility for the security system at the headquarters level and in the field. A clearer and more expeditious process for accepting risk should be a priority goal.


It is clear that the threat that DOE requires its sites to defend against is formidable. The current security emphasis is out of balance. A redirection of focus and resources is indicated, but accomplishing such a major shift in approach will require leadership and a different model for security guidance, planning, and evaluation. The committee’s recommendations are intended to serve as a starting point for this change.

Of the recommendations listed above, three stand out in the committee’s view as its primary suggestions for how DOE/NNSA could effectively succeed in restructuring its security approach. These suggestions are primarily related to the lack of a total systems view associated with security at NNSA sites.

First, DOE/NNSA should seek to better integrate its security efforts. This would help to address potentially significant vulnerabilities. Second, NNSA and other outside security organizations that are responsible for some aspects of the security of the weapons complex do not appear to be well coordinated. Third, a broader suite of adversary scenarios should be developed.

Finally, the committee notes that any analysis is only an input to a decision maker who needs to make a subjective judgment regarding defense strategies, tactics, and investments. Despite the best plans, defenses, and training, the decision maker needs to be alert and prepared to react quickly and decisively to the unexpected. Thus, it is essential that all aspects of security associated with the DOE nuclear weapons complex —whether they are operated by DOE, by NNSA, or by another agency entirely—be well understood, well organized, well exercised, and well coordinated. Although this may not require changes in how NNSA’s security apparatus is organized, it is likely to require a change in approach and a change in mindset.

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