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A successful terrorist attack on Department of Energy (DOE) sites containing nuclear weapons or the material used in nuclear weapons could have devastating consequences for the site and its surrounding communities. Because of these risks, DOE needs an effective safeguards and security program. A key component of an effective program is the design basis threat (DBT), a classified document that identifies, among other things, the potential size and capabilities of terrorist forces. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, rendered the then-current DBT obsolete, resulting in DOE issuing a new version in May 2003. GAO (1) identified why DOE took almost 2 years to develop a new DBT, (2) analyzed the higher threat in the new DBT, and (3) identified remaining issues that need to be resolved in order for DOE to meet the threat contained in the new DBT.

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