Nuclear Security: DOE Must Address Significant Issues to Meet the Requirements of the New Design Basis Threat Page: 7 of 20
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Security and Safety Performance Assurance. Each office, however, retains
its individual missions, functions, structure, and relationship to the other.
The risks associated with Category I special nuclear materials vary but
include the nuclear detonation of a weapon or test device at or near design
yield, the creation of improvised nuclear devices capable of producing a
nuclear yield, theft for use in an illegal nuclear weapon, and the potential
for sabotage in the form of radioactive dispersal. Because of these risks,
DOE has long employed risk-based security practices.
The key component of DOE's well-established, risk-based security
practices is the DBT, a classified document that identifies the
characteristics of the potential threats to DOE assets. The DBT has been
traditionally based on a classified, multiagency intelligence community
assessment of potential terrorist threats, known as the Postulated Threat.
The DBT considers a variety of threats in addition to the terrorist threat.
Other adversaries considered in the DBT include criminals, psychotics,
disgruntled employees, violent activists, and spies. The DBT also considers
the threat posed by insiders, those individuals who have authorized,
unescorted access to any part of DOE facilities and programs. Insiders
may operate alone or may assist an adversary group. Insiders are routinely
considered to provide assistance to the terrorist groups found in the DBT.
The threat from terrorist groups is generally the most demanding threat
contained in the DBT.
DOE counters the terrorist threat specified in the DBT with a multifaceted
protective system. While specific measures vary from site to site, all
protective systems at DOE's most sensitive sites employ a defense-in-
depth concept that includes sensors, physical barriers, hardened facilities
and vaults, and heavily armed paramilitary protective forces equipped with
such items as automatic weapons, night vision equipment, body armor,
and chemical protective gear.
Depending on the material, protective systems at DOE Category I special
nuclear material sites are designed to accomplish the following objectives
in response to the terrorist threat:
* Denial of access. For some potential terrorist objectives, such as the
creation of an improvised nuclear device, DOE may employ a protection
strategy that requires the engagement and neutralization of adversaries
before they can acquire hands-on access to the assets.
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United States. General Accounting Office. Nuclear Security: DOE Must Address Significant Issues to Meet the Requirements of the New Design Basis Threat, text, May 11, 2004; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293919/m1/7/: accessed May 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.