Nuclear Security:

Safeguards and Security Weaknesses at DOE's Weapons Facilities

RCED-92-39: Published: Dec 13, 1991. Publicly Released: Jan 24, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the security safeguards and weaknesses at the Department of Energy's (DOE) nuclear weapons facilities, focusing on: (1) the number and types of safeguards and security weaknesses that DOE has uncovered at its facilities; and (2) how many of those weaknesses DOE has corrected.

GAO found that: (1) between January 1989 and September 1990, DOE identified over 2,100 weakness at 39 DOE weapons-related facilities; (2) weaknesses identified included poor performance by DOE security forces, poor accountability for nuclear materials, and inability to locate documents containing classified information; (3) DOE does not have current data on whether field officers have corrected the identified weaknesses; (4) a random sample indicated that DOE has not corrected 60 percent of the weaknesses; and (5) DOE is planning enhancements to its centralized tracking system that should improve reliability and increase the system's effectiveness as a management tool.