oversight

Weapons of Mass Destruction: Additional Russian Cooperation Needed to Facilitate U.S. Efforts to Improve Security at Russian Sites

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-03-24.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

             United States General Accounting Office

GAO          Report to the Ranking Minority Member,
             Subcommittee on Financial Management,
             the Budget, and International Security,
             Committee on Governmental Affairs,
             U.S. Senate
March 2003
             WEAPONS OF MASS
             DESTRUCTION
             Additional Russian
             Cooperation Needed
             to Facilitate U.S.
             Efforts to Improve
             Security at Russian
             Sites




GAO-03-482
             a
                                               March 2003


                                               WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

                                               Additional Russian Cooperation Needed
 Highlights of GAO-03-482, a report to         to Facilitate U.S. Efforts to Improve
 Subcommittee on Financial Management,
 the Budget, and International Security,       Security at Russian Sites
 U.S. Senate




                                               The Departments of Defense and Energy have made slow progress in helping
 Terrorists and countries of concern           improve the security of sites in Russia with weapons of mass destruction
 may be able to gain access to                 against the threat of theft or diversion because Russia is not providing
 poorly secured weapons of mass
                                               needed access to many sites. Unfortunately, there is little reason to believe
 destruction at sites throughout
 Russia. To address this threat to             this situation will change in the near future.
 U.S. national security, the
 Departments of Defense (DOD) and              DOE plans to help secure Russia’s weapons-usable nuclear material by 2008;
 Energy (DOE) have obligated more              however, the department lacks access to many sites. As a result, most of
 than $1.8 billion since 1992.                 DOE’s expenditures in the past 2 years went to functions other than securing
                                               buildings, such as maintaining previously installed equipment and
 GAO was asked to report on U.S.               developing nuclear security regulations. While important, these efforts do
 programs to help improve security             not advance DOE’s objective of protecting all buildings with weapons-usable
 at sites where Russia stores (1)              nuclear material.
 weapons-usable nuclear material,
 (2) nuclear warheads, (3)                     DOD and DOE have pursued different approaches to securing nuclear
 dangerous biological pathogens,
 and (4) chemical weapons. For
                                               warhead sites. DOE recently scaled back its plans, and the two agencies will
 each area, GAO assessed U.S. plans            face coordination issues, such as deciding which agency will secure sites in
 to address security threats at sites          both of their plans.
 in Russia, U.S. progress in
 implementing those plans, and the             DOD has made little progress in securing dangerous pathogens at the 49
 primary challenges facing DOD and             sites where Russia and the United States have collaborative programs.
 DOE.                                          Russia has consistently refused DOD access to sites and has closed some
                                               sites to U.S. security programs. Negotiations on a bilateral agreement to
                                               implement this assistance have also stalled.
 GAO recommends that DOE re-                   DOD’s efforts to secure chemical weapons have focused on a destruction
 evaluate its plans for securing               facility that will not be complete until 2006. It may be 40 years before
 Russia’s nuclear material, and with
 DOD, develop an integrated plan to
                                               Russia’s nerve agent stockpile can be destroyed. DOD has improved security
 ensure coordination of efforts to             at two sites, but two thirds of Russia’s stockpile remains vulnerable to theft.
 secure Russia’s nuclear warheads.

 GAO also recommends that DOD
 develop criteria to guide efforts to
 secure biological pathogens and
 revisit its decision not to secure
 additional chemical weapons sites.

 DOD agreed with 3 of our 4
 recommendations. DOD did not
 agree to improve security at
 additional chemical weapons sites.
 DOE did not comment on our
 recommendations.
www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-482.

To view the full report, including the scope
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact Joseph A.
Christoff at (202) 512-8979 or
christoffj@gao.gov.
Contents



Letter                                                                                                1


Executive Summary                                                                                     2
                         Purpose                                                                      2
                         Background                                                                   2
                         Results in Brief                                                             4
                         Principal Findings                                                           6
                         Conclusion                                                                  11
                         Matter for Congressional Consideration                                      12
                         Recommendations                                                             12
                         Agency Comments                                                             13


Chapter 1                                                                                            15

Introduction

Chapter 2                                                                                            23
                         DOE Plans to Secure All Weapons-Usable Nuclear Material by
Lack of Access to          2008                                                                      23
Nuclear Material Sites   DOE Has Made Uneven Progress Securing Nuclear Material in
                           Russia                                                                    25
Hinders Program          Access to Sensitive Sites Remains a Barrier to Completing Security
Completion                 Improvements by 2008                                                      29
                         Conclusion                                                                  30
                         Recommendation                                                              31


Chapter 3                                                                                            32
                         DOD and DOE Are Addressing Different Segments of Russia’s
DOD and DOE Have           Nuclear Warhead Sites                                                     32
Had Mixed Success        Progress to Improve Security Has Been Mixed                                 36
                         DOD and DOE Face Challenges in Securing Russia’s Nuclear
Protecting Nuclear         Warhead Sites                                                             39
Warheads                 Conclusion                                                                  42
                         Recommendation                                                              43




                         Page i                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                             Contents




Chapter 4                                                                                               44
                             DOD’s Plans for Securing Biological Facilities in Russia Are Under
Department of Defense          Development                                                              44
Assistance to Secure         DOD’s Biological Security Projects Have Made Little Progress               49
                             U.S. Biological Security Assistance Projects Face Many
Former Biological              Challenges                                                               53
Weapons Facilities Has       Conclusion                                                                 56
Had Limited Results          Recommendation                                                             57


Chapter 5                                                                                               58
                             DOD Plans to Address External Security at Two of Russia’s Seven
DOD Has Not Focused            Chemical Weapons Storage Sites                                           58
on Securing All of           DOD Is on Track to Complete Work at Two Sites by 2003                      61
                             Russian Government Wants to Focus on Destruction Not Security;
Russia’s Chemical              Transportation Security Is an Impending Challenge                        63
Weapons Storage Sites        Conclusion                                                                 63
                             Recommendations                                                            64
                             Matter for Congressional Consideration                                     64


Appendixes
              Appendix I:    Sites in Russia That We Visited in July 2002                               65
                             Nuclear Material Sites                                                     65
                             Nuclear Warhead Sites                                                      67
                             Biological Pathogens Sites                                                 67
                             Chemical Weapons Sites                                                     68
             Appendix II:    Other Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Material
                             Security Assistance                                                        70
                             Transportation Security                                                    70
                             Protective Forces Assistance                                               71
                             Material Protection, Control, and Accounting Operations Monitoring
                               System                                                                   72
             Appendix III:   Other Department of Defense (DOD) Nuclear Warhead
                             Security Assistance                                                        74
                             Transportation Security                                                    74
                             Nuclear Warhead Inventory System                                           75
                             Fissile Material Storage Facility                                          75
                             Guard Force Assistance                                                     76
             Appendix IV:    Comments from the Department of Defense                                    77



                             Page ii                                 GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                         Contents




          Appendix V:    Comments from the Department of Energy                                     80
                         GAO Comments                                                               89
          Appendix VI:   GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments                                     94
                         GAO Contacts                                                               94
                         Staff Acknowledgments                                                      94


Tables                   Table 1: DOD and DOE Assistance for Nuclear Warhead Security in
                                  Russia                                                            33
                         Table 2: Russian Chemical Weapons Storage Sites                            59


Figures                  Figure 1: Appropriations for Threat Reduction and
                                    Nonproliferation Programs, Fiscal Years 1992-2003
                                    (dollars in billions)                                           16
                         Figure 2: DOD and DOE Funds Obligated to Security Programs in
                                    Russia, by Type of WMD, Fiscal Years 1992-2002 (dollars
                                    in millions)                                                    17
                         Figure 3: Status of DOE Security Enhancements at Buildings with
                                    Weapons-Usable Nuclear Material and Central Alarm
                                    Stations in Russia, January 2003                                26
                         Figure 4: Changes in DOE’s Distribution of Expenditures Between
                                    1993-2000 and 2001-2002                                         28
                         Figure 5: Unstable Perimeter Fence at a Biological Site in Russia,
                                    before Security Upgrades                                        46
                         Figure 6: Wax and String Seal Securing Room with Dangerous
                                    Biological Pathogens                                            47
                         Figure 7: DOD-Funded Three-fence Perimeter around Buildings at
                                    Vector with Smallpox and Other Dangerous Pathogens              51
                         Figure 8: DOD-Funded Improvements to Central Alarm Station at
                                    Russian Biological Site at Obolensk Used to Monitor the
                                    New Security System                                             52
                         Figure 9: Chemical Weapon Artillery Rounds inside Russian
                                    Chemical Weapons Storage Building at Shchuch’ye                 61
                         Figure 10: Sites GAO Visited During July 2002 Fieldwork                    65
                         Figure 11: DOE-Funded Overpack Used to Protect Nuclear Material
                                    During Transit                                                  71
                         Figure 12: DOE-Funded Camera Monitors Nuclear Processing Lab
                                    at MEPhI                                                        73




                         Page iii                                GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Contents




Abbreviations

BWPP    Biological Weapons Proliferation Prevention
CCP     Chemical Concentrates Plant
CTR     Cooperative Threat Reduction
CWC     Chemical Weapons Convention
DOD     Department of Defense
DOE     Department of Energy
FMSF    Fissile Material Storage Facility
GAO     General Accounting Office
ISTC    International Science and Technology Center
MEPhI   Moscow State Engineering Physics Institute
MINATOM Ministry of Atomic Energy (Russia)
MOD     Ministry of Defense (Russia)
MOM     (MPC&A) Operation Monitoring
MPC&A Material Protection, Control, and Accounting
OPCW    Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
SATC    Security Assessment and Training Center
WMD     Weapons of Mass Destruction




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Page iv                                          GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
A
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548



           March 24, 2003                                                                                           Leter




           The Honorable Daniel K. Akaka
           Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Financial Management,
             the Budget, and International Security
           Committee on Governmental Affairs
           United States Senate

           Dear Senator Akaka:

           In response to your request on January 17, 2002, we assessed U.S. efforts to enhance security at sites
           in Russia that store (1) weapons-usable nuclear material, (2) nuclear warheads, (3) dangerous
           biological pathogens, and (4) chemical weapons.

           We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Energy, the
           Secretary of State, and other interested parties.

           If you have questions regarding this report, please contact Mr. Christoff at (202) 512-8979 or
           christoffj@gao.gov or Mr. Robinson at (202) 512-3841 or robinsonr@gao.gov. GAO contacts and staff
           acknowledgments are listed in appendix VI.

           Sincerely yours,




           Joseph A. Christoff, Director
           International Affairs and Trade




           Robert A. Robinson, Managing Director
           Natural Resources and Environment




                                     Page 1                                    GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Executive Summary



Purpose      The Russian Federation has the world’s largest stockpiles of weapons-
             usable nuclear material, nuclear warheads, dangerous biological
             pathogens, and chemical weapons. Poorly secured weapons and material at
             sites throughout Russia may provide terrorists and countries of concern
             with access to weapons of mass destruction. To address this threat to U.S.
             national security, the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Energy (DOE)
             have obligated $1.8 billion since 1992 to help improve security at sites
             where Russia stores weapons of mass destruction and weapons-usable
             nuclear material.

             GAO was asked by the Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on
             Financial Management, the Budget, and International Security, Committee
             on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate, to report on U.S. programs to help
             improve security at Russian weapons of mass destruction sites. To address
             these issues, GAO assessed U.S. efforts to enhance security at sites in
             Russia that store (1) weapons-usable nuclear material, (2) nuclear
             warheads, (3) dangerous biological pathogens, and (4) chemical weapons.

             For each of these areas, GAO assessed U.S. plans to address security
             threats at weapons of mass destruction sites in Russia, U.S. progress in
             implementing these plans, and the primary challenges and unresolved
             issues facing DOD and DOE in their efforts to secure Russian sites. During
             the course of its work, GAO reviewed documents and met with officials
             from DOD, DOE, and the Department of State, as well as several ministries
             from the Russian government. GAO also visited 14 nuclear, biological, and
             chemical sites in Russia that have received or will receive U.S. security
             assistance.



Background   Weapons of mass destruction and related materials fall into four categories:
             weapons-usable nuclear material, nuclear warheads, dangerous biological
             pathogens, and chemical weapons.

             • Weapons-usable nuclear material is plutonium and uranium of high
               enough quality to be used in the construction of nuclear devices. Russia
               stores weapons-usable nuclear material at civilian sites that produce or
               store nuclear fuels and materials for civilian application and research;
               naval fuel storage sites, where the Russian Navy stores highly enriched
               uranium for reactor fuel in submarines and icebreakers; and the nuclear
               weapons complex, a network of 10 cities that fabricate, refurbish, or
               dismantle nuclear weapons and their components. Most of the



             Page 2                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Executive Summary




   estimated 600 metric tons of weapons-usable nuclear material located in
   Russia is in the nuclear weapons complex.

• Russia’s estimated stockpile of 18,000 to 25,000 nuclear warheads are
  stored at storage sites, where warheads that are not attached to missiles
  or other delivery vehicles are kept in long-term storage; rail transfer
  points, where warheads are stored during transport; and operational
  sites, where warheads are deployed with missiles or bombs and become
  weapons.

• Dangerous biological pathogens such as anthrax, smallpox, and the
  plague are stored at an unknown number of research sites throughout
  Russia. The Soviet Union had a sophisticated, secret offensive biological
  weapons program throughout the Cold War. The program employed
  60,000 people at more than 50 sites.

• Russia stores its declared stockpile of 40,000 metric tons of chemical
  weapons at seven sites. Five of these sites store 32,000 metric tons of
  nerve agent, the deadliest form of chemical weapons, while two sites
  store blister agent.

Soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States began
an effort to keep weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands
of terrorists and countries of concern. For over 10 years, DOD, through its
Cooperative Threat Reduction program, has had primary responsibility for
many programs that assist Russia in securing, dismantling, destroying, and
safely transporting its weapons. DOE implements programs to improve
security at Russian sites with weapons-usable nuclear material and nuclear
warheads. The Department of State implements programs to pay scientists
who once developed weapons of mass destruction to conduct peaceful
research. From fiscal years 1992 to 2003, Congress authorized $6.4 billion
for these programs.

Of this $6.4 billion, DOD and DOE have obligated $1.8 billion to purchase
new security equipment such as fences, access control systems, and video
surveillance systems and to train security personnel. This equipment helps
protect Russian sites from external threats such as intruders breaking into
sites and internal threats such as employee theft. Through September 2002,
about 98 percent of these funds have been devoted to helping Russia
protect its weapons-usable nuclear materials and nuclear warheads.




Page 3                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                   Executive Summary




                   DOD originally focused on protecting nuclear warheads and weapons-
                   usable nuclear material but later expanded its program to help secure
                   biological pathogens in 1998 and chemical weapons in 1999. In 1995, the
                   lead responsibility for securing weapons-usable nuclear material was
                   transferred to DOE. As part of its program, DOE helped secure reactor fuel
                   that the Russian Navy used to fuel its nuclear submarines and icebreaking
                   ships and began securing some of Russia’s nuclear warheads after the
                   Russian Navy asked DOE for assistance in 1998. In contrast, DOD currently
                   has programs to help protect nuclear warheads, dangerous biological
                   pathogens, and chemical weapons.



Results in Brief   DOE plans to secure all weapons-usable nuclear material in Russia by 2008,
                   but the department’s lack of access to many of the most sensitive sites in
                   Russia’s nuclear weapons complex represents a significant impediment to
                   the program’s continued progress. Over the past 10 years, DOE has helped
                   protect 38 percent of Russia’s weapons-usable nuclear material and has
                   nearly completed its work at civilian sites and naval fuel storage sites.
                   However, DOE has only completed work at 14 of 133 buildings in Russia’s
                   nuclear weapons complex, a network of sites involved in the construction
                   of nuclear weapons where most of the material is stored.1 Because it lacks
                   access to almost three quarters of these sites, DOE has shifted spending
                   during fiscal years 2001 and 2002 from installing security systems at
                   buildings with weapons-usable nuclear material to support programs, such
                   as paying to operate and maintain installed equipment and developing
                   nuclear security regulations. Although DOE and the Russian Ministry of
                   Atomic Energy signed a new access agreement in September 2001, DOE
                   has not gained access to sites where work is planned but has not yet begun.
                   GAO recommends that DOE reassess its expedited plans to secure all
                   weapons-usable nuclear material by 2008.

                   DOD and DOE have pursued separate approaches to securing Russian
                   warhead sites. However, neither agency knows the total number of sites
                   they plan to assist. DOD’s and DOE’s programs to help Russia secure its
                   nuclear warheads were brought under common policy guidance in January
                   2003. These guidelines generally prohibited assistance to operational sites
                   due to concerns that U.S. assistance might enhance Russia’s military



                   1
                   The actual amount of material protected at weapons complex sites is classified.




                   Page 4                                           GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Executive Summary




capability. DOD plans to improve security at all of Russia’s storage sites2
and to complete this work by 2010. DOD has made limited progress and is
unlikely to complete its work as planned because the Russian government
has not provided access to sites or sufficient funding to support the
program. In contrast, until new U.S. interagency guidelines were issued in
January 2003, DOE planned to complete security improvements by 2006 at
36 Russian Navy sites, including both storage sites and operational sites
(which support deployed nuclear weapons). DOE has helped secure 33 of
the 36 Russian Navy sites due to cooperation received from the Russian
Navy. However, in response to the January 2003 interagency guidelines,
DOE revised its plans and decided not to provide further assistance to
many sites where DOE has already installed its initial round of upgrades.
As a result, DOE has had to scale back its plans and reconsider its time
frames since the new guidelines limit assistance to operational sites. DOD
and DOE will continue to face several coordination issues, such as deciding
which agency will secure sites identified in both of their plans and
coordinating the type of equipment used and guard force training provided.
GAO recommends that DOD and DOE ensure ongoing interagency
coordination.

After more than 4 years of effort, DOD has made little progress in
addressing security concerns at the 49 biological sites where Russia and
the United States have collaborative programs. As of December 2002, DOD
had installed upgrades at two sites and plans to upgrade security at two
additional sites. DOD has limited information on the location and security
of sites that house collections of dangerous biological pathogens in Russia
and is thus uncertain which sites should receive security improvements.
Although DOD eventually plans to address internal and external security
threats, it has no time frames for completing this work. U.S. efforts to
secure biological facilities have faced significant challenges. For example,
despite years of U.S. effort, the Russian government has closed many
biological sites to U.S. security assistance programs. In addition, at least
nine Russian ministries and organizations have ownership or oversight of
these sites, which slows DOD’s efforts to implement the program. The
biological security program has thus taken longer and accomplished less
than expected. GAO recommends that DOD clearly articulate criteria to
identify which biological sites pose the greatest security risks and should
therefore receive the most extensive U.S. assistance.



2
DOD has a classified estimate of the total number of sites.




Page 5                                            GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                              Executive Summary




                              DOD’s efforts to secure chemical weapons have focused on helping Russia
                              build a facility to destroy its extensive nerve agent stockpile rather than
                              securing the sites where its nerve agent is stored. However, the destruction
                              facility will not be completed until 2006, and it could be another 40 years
                              before Russia’s stockpile would be completely destroyed. In 2001, DOD
                              began helping Russia secure two sites that store nerve agent against
                              external threats, which it estimates will be complete in fall 2003. DOD
                              selected these two sites because they store nerve agent munitions that are
                              small and easily portable. However, DOD has no plans to help secure three
                              other Russian nerve agent storage sites that store 65 percent of Russia’s
                              declared nerve agent stockpile. DOD’s decision to limit its work to two
                              nerve agent sites leaves the issue of site security over the majority of
                              Russia’s nerve agent stockpile unresolved. In addition, even though Russia
                              plans to move its nerve agent munitions by rail, in some cases hundreds of
                              miles, to the destruction facility, Russia and DOD have not developed plans
                              to secure the nerve agent while it is being transported. GAO recommends
                              that the Secretary of Defense reassess the need for improved security at
                              chemical weapons sites and work with Russian officials to develop a plan
                              to secure Russian chemical weapons during transit. GAO also suggests that
                              Congress consider funding security improvements at the three remaining
                              chemical weapons sites that have not received U.S. security assistance.



Principal Findings

Lack of Access to Sensitive   DOE plans to help secure Russia’s estimated stockpile of 600 metric tons of
Nuclear Material Sites        weapons-usable material from internal and external threats by 2008. DOE
                              has determined that 243 buildings in Russia (including central alarm
Hinders Program
                              stations) require improved security systems to better protect the material
Completion                    from theft. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress
                              appropriated additional funds for nuclear material security in Russia.
                              Because of these additional funds, DOE shortened its time frame for
                              protecting all weapons-usable nuclear material in Russia from 2010 to 2008.

                              DOE’s progress in protecting weapons-usable nuclear material has varied
                              widely, depending on the type of site. As of January 2003, DOE had finished
                              installing security improvements at 85 of 110 buildings at sites that store
                              nuclear fuel for the Russian Navy and sites that produce or store nuclear
                              fuels and materials for civilian application and research. In contrast, DOE
                              has only completed work at 14 of the 133 buildings at sites in the nuclear



                              Page 6                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                           Executive Summary




                           weapons complex that fabricate, refurbish, or dismantle components and
                           nuclear material for nuclear weapons. Altogether, DOE has helped protect
                           38 percent, or about 228 metric tons, of Russia’s weapons-usable nuclear
                           material. However, despite years of negotiations, Russia will not let DOE
                           visit or begin work at nearly three quarters of the buildings in the weapons
                           complex. Lack of progress at these sites significantly hampers DOE’s
                           programmatic goals because weapons complex sites store most of the
                           weapons-usable nuclear material in Russia. Because progress in installing
                           security upgrades to buildings in the nuclear weapons complex has slowed,
                           the majority of DOE’s spending in 2001 and 2002 shifted to efforts other
                           than securing buildings, including paying to operate and maintain security
                           systems already at sites, helping secure nuclear material during transport,
                           and developing nuclear security regulations.

                           Access to sensitive sites, especially in the nuclear weapons complex,
                           remains a significant challenge to DOE’s ability to meet its projected 2008
                           deadline. As set forth in its guidelines for improving nuclear material
                           security in Russia, DOE requires access to the buildings to design and
                           confirm the installation of security systems. Despite repeated efforts, the
                           department has yet to obtain access to sensitive Russian sites to (1)
                           confirm the type of material to be protected, (2) design systems that
                           provide adequate security, (3) ensure the equipment is properly installed,
                           and (4) ensure that the equipment is operated properly and used as
                           intended. For example, as of January 2003, DOE had not been able to
                           access 74 percent of the buildings in Russia’s nuclear weapons complex. A
                           September 2001, access agreement between DOE and the Russian Ministry
                           of Atomic Energy has failed to facilitate the department’s access to
                           previously closed sites. In fact, the Ministry used the terms of the
                           agreement to deny GAO access to two sites in Russia during its July 2002
                           visit.



DOD and DOE Have Had       DOD and DOE do not know the total number of nuclear warhead sites they
Mixed Success Protecting   plan to assist because Russia has provided only limited information about
                           the site locations and security conditions. DOD’s efforts have focused on
Nuclear Warheads           improving security at storage sites under the command of the 12th Main
                           Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense, the branch of the Russian
                           military specifically responsible for warhead security and maintenance. In
                           contrast, DOE has focused on improving security at all three types of sites
                           under the jurisdiction of the Russian Navy. However, in January 2003, new
                           U.S. interagency guidelines limited the extent to which DOD and DOE can
                           provide assistance to operational sites, which support deployed nuclear



                           Page 7                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Executive Summary




weapons, out of concern that U.S. assistance could enhance Russia’s
military capability. DOE will continue to help secure storage sites and rail
transfer points because the warheads at those sites are stored separate
from their delivery vehicles; the possibility of enhancing Russia’s military
capability is thus less. DOE has had to scale back its original plans because
a significant number of the Navy sites where it has provided assistance to
date are operational.

DOD has made limited progress in securing nuclear warheads in Russia. As
of December 2002, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported installing only
about one third of the 123 kilometers of perimeter fencing that DOD began
providing Russia in 1997 for warhead storage sites at 52 locations. DOD has
been unable to install security equipment to address insider threats at any
storage sites because Russia has not provided access to these sites.

DOE has made significant progress improving security over nuclear
warheads under the jurisdiction of the Russian Navy. Since the department
began its program in 1999, it has installed security improvements at 33 sites
where the Russian Navy requested assistance. Most of these sites are rail
transfer points and operational sites, such as those where nuclear
warheads are attached to missiles or loaded onto submarines. The Russian
Navy has worked closely with DOE, which has facilitated the quick
implementation of the assistance. However, the U.S. interagency guidelines
preclude further assistance to many operational sites where the
department has installed an initial round of upgrades.

Russia’s tight restrictions on access to nuclear warhead storage sites have
severely limited DOD’s efforts to improve security at these sites. This is in
contrast to the progress that DOE has made with the access it receives
from the Russian Navy. DOD and DOE require physical access to the sites
to help design the security improvements and to confirm that Russia has
installed security improvements as agreed before paying for the work. In
particular, they require access to the site perimeters, entry control
facilities, and guard facilities where the bulk of the security improvements
are installed. Lack of access has completely blocked DOD from installing
comprehensive upgrades, the full set of security improvements that protect
against both internal and external threats of theft. DOD signed an access
agreement with the Russian Ministry of Defense in February 2003 and plans
to begin installing comprehensive upgrades in spring 2003. However, given
previous delays and setbacks in gaining Russia’s permission to visit nuclear
warhead storage sites, further delays beyond spring 2003 are possible.




Page 8                                    GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                           Executive Summary




                           Until the January 2003 interagency guidelines, DOD and DOE pursued
                           different policies in assisting operational nuclear warhead sites. DOD and
                           DOE now coordinate their efforts to improve nuclear warhead security in
                           Russia through an interagency working group and a joint working group
                           with their Russian counterparts. While the departments have avoided
                           duplication of effort, they face a number of issues that will require
                           continued coordination. For example, the departments have not
                           determined which agency will improve security at storage sites that they
                           both include in their plans. The departments will also have to work
                           together to ensure that the different types of equipment and guard force
                           training they provide to Russia are standardized.



Department of Defense      DOD’s plans to secure biological facilities in Russia are based on limited
Assistance to Secure       information about the number of sites, pathogen collections, and security
                           conditions at these sites. DOD does not know how many sites in Russia
Biological Sites Has Had
                           have dangerous biological pathogens and has not comprehensively
Limited Results            reviewed security at the 49 biological sites in Russia where the United
                           States has collaborative research projects, a number that includes many
                           former biological weapons facilities. As of January 2003, DOD had focused
                           its security program on sites where Russia allows the United States access
                           and where DOD had identified dangerous pathogen collections. However,
                           DOD did not know how many sites it plans to help secure and had no time
                           frames for completing its work. In recognition of the vulnerabilities of
                           biological institutes to insider theft, DOD plans to address internal and
                           external security concerns at sites where it is providing assistance.

                           DOD’s progress in securing Russia’s biological weapons sites has been slow
                           due to Russia’s limited cooperation and the Administration’s temporary
                           suspension of the Cooperative Threat Reduction program from January
                           through August 2002. DOD officials also stated that the department’s
                           efforts to help secure biological pathogens started later than its work to
                           secure other weapons of mass destruction because biological pathogen
                           security was viewed as a lower priority. Since DOD began to help secure
                           Russia’s dangerous biological pathogens in 1998, it has focused its efforts
                           on providing and installing equipment at the largest former biological
                           weapons facilities in Russia that have the most dangerous pathogens and
                           that the Russians have been willing to let DOD assist. DOD also has begun
                           planning to assist security at two additional sites. While the installation of
                           fences, sensors, and video surveillance cameras have enhanced security
                           against external threats at two sites, these projects did not improve
                           physical security to address insider threats. As of September 2002, DOD



                           Page 9                                    GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                           Executive Summary




                           estimated that it had obligated $14 million to help improve security at 4 of
                           the 49 biological sites in Russia that may require such assistance.

                           U.S. efforts to help secure former biological weapons facilities in Russia
                           face many challenges. First, DOD has been unable to work directly with
                           Russian biological sites due to stalled negotiations on an implementing
                           agreement to facilitate this assistance. Negotiations have been slow
                           because nine Russian government organizations have jurisdiction over
                           sites with dangerous biological pathogens. As a result, DOD has no single
                           focal point with which to negotiate an agreement. Second, the Russian
                           government has consistently refused DOD access to many former
                           biological weapons sites. For example, the Russian Ministry of Health has
                           not allowed DOD access to five of its sites, because, according to DOD
                           officials, the Ministry was concerned that participating in DOD’s security
                           program would be an admission these sites had taken part in the Soviet
                           biological weapons program.



DOD Has Not Focused on     Since the early 1990s, DOD has focused on the construction of a chemical
Securing All of Russia’s   weapons destruction facility to help Russia destroy its chemical weapons
                           stockpile, as required by the Chemical Weapons Convention. While Russia
Chemical Weapons Sites
                           plans to destroy its chemical weapons by 2012, lack of progress on
                           construction and financial difficulties make it likely that it will take 40
                           years or more to reach this goal. Until Congress directed it to do so in 1999,
                           DOD did not plan to improve security at Russia’s chemical weapons storage
                           sites. With $20 million in funding, the department plans to install upgrades
                           around buildings, site perimeters, and central alarm stations. These
                           upgrades will address external threats at the two chemical weapons
                           storage sites that store portable nerve agent munitions since these are
                           considered the greatest threat to U.S. national security. DOD plans to
                           complete its work in fall 2003. However, it has no plans to extend the
                           program to three other nerve agent sites or to expand its current program
                           to address insider threats at the two facilities where it has already done
                           work.

                           DOD has made significant progress helping secure two chemical weapons
                           sites in Russia. As of October 2002, the department had obligated $19.8
                           million to purchase and install two phases of security equipment. The first
                           phase, completed in February 2002, consisted of microwave sensors
                           around individual storage buildings or groups of buildings that, according
                           to DOD, contain the smallest chemical weapons. Work installing the
                           second, more comprehensive phase of security upgrades, began in July



                           Page 10                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
             Executive Summary




             2002. When this work is completed, the perimeters of both Russian
             chemical weapons sites will have improved fencing, lights, cameras, and
             sensors linked to improved central alarm stations. DOD is on track to
             complete its work in fall 2003 as planned, expedited by good cooperation
             from its Russian counterparts. After finishing that work, DOD will have
             helped secure about 35 percent of Russia’s stockpile of nerve agent, the
             deadliest form of chemical weapons. DOD’s work has been expedited by
             good access and cooperation from the Russian government. DOD officials
             state that access has been good because Russia has declared its stockpile
             and allows international inspectors to periodically visit these sites.

             DOD’s decision to limit its work to two chemical weapons sites leaves 65
             percent of Russia’s nerve agent stockpile unsecured. The Russian
             government would also prefer to focus on destroying chemical weapons
             rather than securing chemical weapons sites. Although Russia has publicly
             stated it plans to destroy its declared chemical weapons stockpile by 2012,
             it will likely take much longer. As a result, a large quantity of chemical
             weapons in Russia will remain vulnerable to theft or diversion and pose a
             potential threat to U.S. national security interests. In addition, Russia will
             have to move most of its nerve agent several hundred miles by rail from
             current storage sites to the planned chemical weapons destruction facility.
             However, DOD and Russia have not begun discussions on the security that
             will be required for chemical munitions, as they are moved hundreds of
             miles from current storage sites to the planned chemical weapons
             destruction facility.



Conclusion   Since 1992, the United States has undertaken an unprecedented task:
             securing the weapons its former adversary developed for potential use
             against the United States and its allies. The $1.8 billion obligated by DOD
             and DOE, from 1992 to 2002, has helped improve security at dozens of sites
             across Russia. Portions of Russia’s weapons-usable nuclear material,
             nuclear warheads, dangerous biological pathogens, and chemical weapons
             are now more secure against the threat of theft or diversion. Some U.S.
             efforts, such as improving security at chemical weapons and Navy warhead
             sites, enjoy good support from the Russian government. As a result, DOD
             and DOE have been able to install security upgrades with few problems.

             However, helping Russia secure its vast collection of weapons of mass
             destruction has often proven to be a difficult and time-consuming task.
             Although the United States and Russia have broadly agreed to work
             together on this mutually beneficial task, important aspects of DOD and



             Page 11                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                  Executive Summary




                  DOE programs continue to face significant resistance and lack of
                  cooperation from the Russian government. In some areas, such as securing
                  many sites in Russia’s nuclear weapons complex, the Russian government
                  has been unwilling to allow meaningful work to take place, despite years of
                  U.S. efforts.

                  Lack of Russian cooperation delays program implementation and has
                  changed the nature of the assistance the United States planned to provide.
                  DOE will likely be unable to complete its work in Russia by 2008 as
                  currently planned, in large part because the Russian Ministry of Atomic
                  Energy has not cooperated in giving DOE access to many sites and
                  buildings. DOE has thus spent less than half of its most recent
                  appropriations to secure buildings with weapons-usable nuclear material.
                  Furthermore, DOD’s efforts to secure nuclear warheads have been limited
                  because negotiations over site access have dragged on for years.

                  In addition, some U.S. efforts require revised plans. DOD and DOE are both
                  working to help secure Russia’s nuclear warheads; however, until recently,
                  they have not been following the same policies. DOE has a comprehensive
                  plan to guide its efforts to secure nuclear material in Russia but will not be
                  able to complete its work within scheduled time frames. Although the
                  Department of Defense has been working since 1998 to help secure
                  biological sites in Russia, it lacks a written plan to help determine the
                  number of sites it will help protect, the kinds of security upgrades it will
                  provide, and the means of protecting against the threat of theft from
                  insiders. Finally, DOD’s efforts to help secure chemical weapons sites in
                  Russia leaves sites with two-thirds of Russia’s deadly nerve agent stockpile
                  vulnerable to theft and have not considered the security problems of
                  moving several thousand tons of nerve agent over hundreds of miles to a
                  destruction facility.



Matter for        For the program to secure chemical weapons, Congress may wish to
                  consider allocating additional funds for improving security at three
Congressional     remaining sites in Russia that store nerve agent but have not received U.S.
Consideration     security assistance.



Recommendations   • Given the current lack of access to many nuclear weapons complex
                    sites, the Secretary of Energy should reassess the department’s




                  Page 12                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                  Executive Summary




                     expedited plans to provide security enhancements to Russian facilities
                     housing weapons-usable nuclear materials.

                  • The Secretaries of Defense and Energy should develop an integrated
                    plan to ensure that their related programs to help secure Russia’s
                    nuclear warheads work together to address implementation issues such
                    as determining which department will provide assistance to certain sites
                    and resolving equipment standardization concerns.

                  • In developing the department’s plan to enhance security at Russian
                    biological sites, the Secretary of Defense should clearly articulate
                    criteria the department should use to rank the relative threat posed by
                    different types of pathogens and review the security under which they
                    are kept to identify the biological sites that pose the greatest security
                    risks and would therefore have highest priority for and receive the most
                    extensive U.S. assistance.

                  • Given the lengthy time frame for the destruction of Russia’s chemical
                    weapons stockpile, the Secretary of Defense should consider:

                     • reassessing the need to provide improved security at the three sites
                       in Russia that store nerve agent but have not received U.S. security
                       assistance and

                     • working with Russian officials to develop practical plans for securing
                       chemical weapons while in transit to the planned destruction facility
                       at Shchuch’ye.



Agency Comments   DOD provided written comments on a draft of this report, which are
                  reproduced in appendix IV. In these comments, DOD concurred with our
                  recommendations regarding the department’s efforts to help secure
                  Russia’s nuclear warheads and dangerous biological pathogens. DOD
                  stated that it would act on NSC policy guidelines and work within
                  interagency working groups to implement our recommendation that DOD
                  and DOE develop an integrated plan to secure Russia’s nuclear warheads.
                  DOD also stated that it would develop formal criteria for prioritizing
                  assistance to sites with dangerous biological pathogens and renew its
                  efforts to develop an implementing agreement with the Russian
                  government. DOD concurred with our recommendation to work with the
                  Russian government to develop plans to secure chemical weapons during




                  Page 13                                  GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Executive Summary




transport to the destruction facility at Shchuch’ye. DOD stated that it is
now working with the Russian Munitions Agency to develop these plans.

DOD did not concur with GAO’s recommendation to reassess the need for
improved security at three additional nerve agent sites in Russia. DOD
contends that the size and weight of the bombs and spray tanks that
contain the nerve agent make them difficult to steal and that existing
physical security at these sites is sufficient. DOD’s statement conflicts with
the head of the Russian commission overseeing chemical weapons
destruction who stated on March 6, 2003, that security at these sites is poor
and Russia needs additional money for security improvements.
Accordingly, GAO continues to recommend that DOD reassess the need for
improved security at the three nerve agent sites that have not received U.S.
security assistance.

DOE provided comments on a draft of this report, which are reproduced in
appendix V. DOE did not indicate whether it concurred with GAO’s
recommendations. The department disagreed with GAO’s conclusion that
progress had slowed in the department’s efforts to improve security over
Russia’s weapons-usable nuclear material. DOE cited recent increases in
the number of contracts signed with the Ministry of Atomic Energy as
examples of the progress the department has made. However, GAO’s work
shows that the number of contracts signed is a poor measure of program
progress because (1) contracts are frequently for small amounts of money,
and (2) contracts can finance work for purposes other than improving
security at buildings. In addition, DOE’s Strategic Plan, program guidelines,
and other documentation track program progress by the number of
buildings and amount of material protected, not by the number of
contracts. We have therefore used the benchmarks the department uses in
its strategic plan to gauge program progress.

DOE also stated that GAO’s figure of 600 metric tons of weapons-usable
nuclear material in Russia was too low. However, DOE’s comment
contradicts its strategic plan and recent statements made by the Acting
Administrator for National Nuclear Security Administration in testimony
before the House Armed Services Committee. At that hearing, the Acting
Administrator testified that Russia has an estimated 600 metric tons of
weapons-usable nuclear material.




Page 14                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Chapter 1

Introduction                                                                                        Chapte1
                                                                                                          r




               The collapse of the Soviet Union left Russia with the largest arsenal of
               weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the world. Unclassified U.S.
               estimates of the current number of Russia’s nuclear warheads range from
               18,000 to 25,000, and Russia inherited an estimated 600 metric tons of the
               uranium and plutonium that could be used to build nuclear devices. Russia
               also assumed control of more than 40,000 metric tons of chemical weapons
               and an extensive complex of sites used in research on dangerous biological
               pathogens, such as smallpox and anthrax, and the development of those
               pathogens as biological weapons.

               In the closed Soviet system, security systems emphasized heavy
               surveillance of site workers with severe penalties imposed on those who
               violated security procedures. The Soviets relied on closed cities and
               physical security measures to stem any threats posed by outsiders.
               However, the dissolution of the Soviet Union and subsequent social,
               political, and economic changes in Russia not only revealed gaps in the
               physical security surrounding sites containing WMD but made evident
               weaknesses in Russia’s ability to deter threats from inside those
               complexes. A senior member of the Russian Ministry of Defense stated in
               1999 that the greatest threat to nuclear warhead security stems from
               insider knowledge of security systems and procedures. Both enhanced
               insider threat and decreased ability to protect against external threat have
               created opportunities for agents from countries of concern to obtain WMD.

               In response to this threat, Congress authorized the Department of Defense
               (DOD) to establish the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program in
               1992 to help Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan secure and protect
               nuclear weapons. Members of Congress were concerned that nuclear
               weapons or materials might be lost, stolen, or sold and that nuclear
               scientists and technicians might be persuaded to sell their knowledge to
               nations or terrorists seeking to develop such weapons. Between 1992 and
               2003, Congress authorized $6.4 billion for a wide array of threat reduction
               and nonproliferation programs implemented by DOD, the Department of
               Energy (DOE), the Department of State, and other agencies.1 As shown in
               figure 1, these appropriations have been directed into destruction and
               dismantlement, demilitarization (the conversion of military facilities and
               research to civilian purposes), and security efforts. Most funds have been
               for programs in Russia.


               1
                The Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Homeland
               Security also implement portions of these programs.




               Page 15                                       GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Chapter 1
Introduction




Figure 1: Appropriations for Threat Reduction and Nonproliferation Programs,
Fiscal Years 1992-2003 (dollars in billions)




Destruction and dismantlement projects, for which $2.65 billion has been
appropriated, are designed to help with the elimination of nuclear,
chemical, and other weapons and their delivery vehicles. For example,
DOD has helped Russia destroy missiles and submarines to meet arms
control requirements and is currently helping Russia design a destruction
facility for its chemical weapons stockpile. In addition, DOD has financed
the destruction of silos that contained intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Demilitarization efforts—projects that encourage Russia, Ukraine, Belarus,
and Kazakhstan to convert military facilities and research to civilian
purposes—have been appropriated $1.1 billion. These include funds to pay
scientists of the former Soviet Union who once developed nuclear,
chemical, and biological weapons and missile systems to conduct peaceful
research. Demilitarization funds also support projects that seek to convert
defense facilities in the former Soviet Union to factories that produce
civilian products such as medical treatments.

Security programs have been appropriated $2.65 billion from 1992 through
2002. These efforts help Russia and other former Soviet nations secure
their WMD. For example, DOD and DOE have provided Russia with fences,
sensors, video surveillance systems, and computerized inventory control
systems.


Page 16                                     GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Chapter 1
Introduction




As shown in figure 2, as of September 2002, DOD and DOE had obligated a
total of $1.8 billion to upgrade security at sites where Russia has WMD
material. Most of these funds have been used to help secure nuclear
warheads and nuclear material. Two percent of these funds have been used
to address security threats at chemical weapons storage sites and institutes
with dangerous biological pathogens.



Figure 2: DOD and DOE Funds Obligated to Security Programs in Russia, by Type of
WMD, Fiscal Years 1992-2002 (dollars in millions)




Note:The funding figures include spending for site security upgrades and related programs but do not
include funding for destruction of weapons of mass destruction or employment of scientists. The figure
for nuclear warheads includes funding for the Fissile Material Storage Facility.


Since 1995, DOD has obligated $796 million to enhance security at Russian
nuclear weapons sites. The department has installed fences, developed
warhead inventory control systems, and upgraded railcars used to
transport warheads. In 1998, DOD expanded its program by providing
assistance to improve security over sites in Russia with dangerous
biological pathogens. As of September 2002, DOD had obligated about $14
million for these programs. In 1999, Congress became concerned about the



Page 17                                                 GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                         Chapter 1
                         Introduction




                         threat of chemical weapons and appropriated $20 million for security
                         enhancements at chemical weapons storage sites in Russia. DOD had
                         obligated $19.8 million of these funds as of September 2002.

                         In 1993, DOE and the Russian government began working together to
                         secure sites housing weapons-usable nuclear material. In 1995, DOE
                         established the Material Protection, Control, and Accounting (MPC&A)
                         program. Under MPC&A, DOE has installed modern nuclear security
                         systems with three components:

                         • physical protection systems such as fences around the buildings
                           containing nuclear materials; metal doors protecting rooms where
                           material is stored; and video surveillance systems to monitor storage
                           rooms;

                         • material control systems such as seals attached to nuclear material
                           containers to indicate whether material has been stolen from the
                           containers and badge systems that allow only authorized personnel into
                           areas containing nuclear material; and

                         • material accounting systems such as inventories of nuclear material and
                           computerized databases to track the amount and type of nuclear
                           material contained in specific buildings.

                         DOE has obligated $835 million for these programs since 1995. In 1998, at
                         Russia’s request, DOE expanded the scope of its efforts with the Russian
                         Navy from protecting naval reactor fuel to helping secure nuclear
                         warheads. Since 1999, when DOE started working with the Russian Navy to
                         protect sites where warheads are stored, DOE has obligated $159 million
                         for this effort.



Objectives, Scope, and   The Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Financial Management,
Methodology              the Budget, and International Security, Committee on Governmental
                         Affairs, U.S. Senate, asked us to report on U.S. programs to help improve
                         security at Russian WMD sites. To address these issues, we assessed U.S.
                         efforts to enhance security at sites in Russia that store (1) weapons-usable
                         nuclear material, (2) nuclear warheads, (3) dangerous biological
                         pathogens, and (4) chemical weapons. For each area, we assessed U.S.
                         plans to address these security threats at WMD sites in Russia; U.S.
                         progress in implementing these plans, and the primary challenges and
                         unresolved issues facing DOD and DOE in their efforts to secure Russian



                         Page 18                                  GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Chapter 1
Introduction




sites. Our review focused on U.S. efforts to secure WMD material and did
not include U.S. programs to employ WMD scientists or destroy WMD
material.2

To assess U.S. efforts to help secure weapons-usable nuclear material in
Russia, we reviewed program documents from DOE and the Russian
Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM). We also visited two sites in Russia
that have received security assistance from DOE: the Moscow State
Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) and the Russian naval fuel storage
Site 49. We requested visits to the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates
Plant and the nuclear weapons complex facility at Mayak (also known as C-
65), but were denied access by the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy. We
were able to meet with managers from these sites outside their facilities.
We also visited Los Alamos National Laboratory to observe U.S.
approaches to securing nuclear material. We collected and analyzed
reports and other publications on nuclear material security issues from the
federal government and nongovernmental organizations. Our analysis of
DOE’s financial spending patterns was based on our previous work and
budget data on fiscal year 2001 and 2002 appropriations, obligations, and
expenditures, which we obtained from DOE. We met with officials from
DOE; Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Sandia National Laboratories;
the Ministry of Atomic Energy in Russia; Gosatomnadzor, the Russian
nuclear regulatory authority; and site officials from the Moscow State
Engineering Physics Institute, the Russian Navy’s Site 49, Novosibirsk
Chemical Concentrates Plant, and Mayak.

To assess U.S. efforts to help secure nuclear warheads in Russia, we
reviewed program documentation from DOE, DOD, the National Security
Council, and Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Sandia National
Laboratories. During our site work in Russia, we visited several locations
related to securing nuclear warheads:

• We visited two Russian Navy sites where DOE had installed security
  improvements. During these visits, we toured inside the facilities, saw
  the security equipment DOE had installed, and spoke with officials from
  the Russian Navy.

2
 In May 2001, we issued two reports on U.S. efforts to employ WMD scientists. See U.S.
General Accounting Office, Nuclear Nonproliferation: DOE’s Efforts to Assist Weapons
Scientists in Russia’s Nuclear Cities Face Challenges, GAO-01-429 (Washington, D.C.: May
3, 2001) and Weapons of Mass Destruction: State Department Oversight of Science Centers
Program, GAO-01-582 (Washington, D.C.: May 10, 2001).




Page 19                                         GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Chapter 1
Introduction




• We visited the Fissile Material Storage Facility, where Russia says it will
  store plutonium from dismantled nuclear warheads. At the time of our
  visit, the facility was still under construction, so we were not able to see
  all of the planned security features in place. During our visit, we spoke
  with officials from DOD, which is financing the construction of the
  facility, and the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy, which will operate
  the site after it is completed.

• We visited a factory in Russia, where the United States pays to have
  railcars refurbished and repaired. We saw the factory and met with
  factory officials.

• We visited the Security Assessment and Training Center (SATC), where
  we saw examples of the security systems DOD plans to install at
  warhead storage sites in Russia and some of the equipment the Russian
  Ministry of Defense uses to screen personnel who work with nuclear
  warheads. During this visit, we met with officials from the Russian
  Ministry of Defense and DOD.

We also visited a location in the United States where nuclear warheads are
stored to gain an understanding of how the United States secures its own
warheads. During our work, we met with officials from DOD and DOE, the
National Security Council, Sandia, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratories, the Russian Ministry of Defense, and the Russian
Navy.

To assess U.S. efforts to help secure dangerous biological pathogens in
Russia, we reviewed program documents from DOD; the Department of
State; the National Security Council; the Russian Ministry of Health; the
International Science and Technology Center; and four former WMD
facilities where the United States has developed biosecurity assistance
programs. We collected and analyzed reports and other publications on
biosecurity issues from the federal government and nongovernmental
organizations, and we met with officials from the United States Army
Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases and Sandia Laboratory
to discuss their approaches to biosecurity. We also met with officials of
DOD and the Department of State, the National Security Council, the
Russian ministries of Health and Science, Industry and Technology, the
International Science and Technology Center, and DOD biosecurity
contractors Bechtel and SAIC. We visited all four former Soviet biological
weapons facilities in Russia that now receive U.S. biosecurity assistance:
(1) State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology (Vector), (2) the



Page 20                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Chapter 1
Introduction




State Research Center for Applied Microbiology (Obolensk), (3) the
Russian Research Institute of Phytopathology at Golitsino (Golitsino) and
(4) the Pokrov Biologics Plant (Pokrov). At these facilities, we met with
directors and scientists to discuss biosecurity issues, and we toured the
facilities.

Our review of DOD’s biosecurity program focused on assistance provided
since 1998 to improve the security of biological sites in Russia.3 DOD has
other programs to address the risks posed by the spread of dangerous
pathogens or biological weapons expertise from Russia, including
collaborative research projects with former Soviet biological weapons
scientists and projects to enhance safety at biological sites. Congressional
appropriations for DOD’s Biological Weapons Proliferation Prevention
(BWPP) projects in the former Soviet Union that include biosecurity,
biosafety, and collaborative research assistance have grown from $17
million in 2002 to $55 million in 2003.

To assess U.S. efforts to help secure chemical weapons in Russia, we
reviewed program documents from DOD and the Russian Munitions
Agency, the executive agency in Russia charged with securing and
destroying chemical weapons.4 We visited both chemical weapons storage
sites in Russia that now receive U.S. security assistance: Kizner and
Shchuch’ye. At these facilities, we met with base commanders and security
personnel, we toured the facilities to observe the installed U.S. security
upgrades, and we were shown U.S.-funded security equipment for site
perimeter upgrades that had yet to be installed. We collected and analyzed
reports and other publications on chemical weapons security issues from
the federal government and nongovernmental organizations. We visited
Anniston Chemical Activity and Edgewood Chemical Activity to see and
discuss the U.S. approach to chemical weapons security with officials
there. We met with officials from DOD, the Russian Munitions Agency, as
well as officials from the two chemical weapons storage sites in Russia that
are receiving U.S.-funded security upgrades.


3
 For additional information on aspects of DOD’s programs in this area, see U.S. General
Accounting Office, Biological Weapons: Effort to Reduce Soviet Threat Offers Benefits,
Poses New Risks, GAO/NSIAD-00-138 (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 28, 2000).
4
 In April 1999, we reported that DOD’s efforts to help Russia destroy its chemical weapons
stockpile was behind schedule. See U.S. General Accounting Office, Weapons of Mass
Destruction: Effort to Reduce Russian Arsenals May Cost More, Achieve Less Than
Planned, GAO/NSIAD-99-76 (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 13, 1999).




Page 21                                           GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Chapter 1
Introduction




We performed our work from April 2002 through March 2003 in accordance
with generally accepted government auditing standards.




Page 22                               GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Chapter 2

Lack of Access to Nuclear Material Sites
Hinders Program Completion                                                                                        Chapte2
                                                                                                                        r




                      The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to secure all weapons-usable
                      nuclear material in Russia by 2008. Over the past 10 years, DOE has made
                      steady progress toward this goal and has nearly completed its work at
                      civilian sites and naval fuel storage sites. However, DOE has made limited
                      progress in securing nuclear material in Russia’s nuclear weapons
                      complex, a network of sites involved in the construction of nuclear
                      weapons where most of the material is stored. Because it lacks access to
                      most of these sites, DOE has shifted its new spending on the program from
                      improving physical security over buildings with nuclear material to other
                      programs, such as transportation security and guard force equipment and
                      training. DOE faces significant challenges to continued progress with its
                      program, in particular the lack of access to many of the most sensitive sites
                      in Russia’s nuclear weapons complex. Although DOE and MINATOM signed
                      a new access agreement in September 2001, DOE has not gained access to
                      sites where work is planned but not yet begun.



DOE Plans to Secure   Weapons-usable nuclear material is highly enriched uranium or plutonium
                      that can be used directly in a nuclear weapon without further enrichment
All Weapons-Usable    or processing.1 This material is considered to be highly attractive to theft
Nuclear Material by   because it (1) is not very radioactive and therefore relatively safe to handle
                      and (2) can easily be carried by one or two people in portable containers.
2008                  Terrorists and countries seeking nuclear weapons could use as little as 25
                      kilograms of highly enriched uranium or 8 kilograms of plutonium to build
                      a nuclear weapon.

                      DOE estimates that Russia has about 600 metric tons of weapons-usable
                      nuclear material. Russia stores weapons-usable nuclear material at three
                      types of sites: (1) civilian sites, which produce or store nuclear fuels and
                      materials for civilian application and research; (2) naval fuel storage sites,
                      where the Russian Navy stores stockpiles of highly enriched uranium to be
                      used as reactor fuel in submarines and icebreakers; and (3) the nuclear
                      weapons complex, a network of 10 nuclear cities that fabricate, refurbish,
                      or dismantle nuclear weapons and their components. Most weapons-usable


                      1
                       Weapons-usable nuclear material is uranium enriched to 20 percent or greater in uranium-
                      235 or uranium-233 isotopes and any plutonium containing less than 80 percent of the
                      isotope plutonium-238 and less than 10 percent of the isotopes plutonium-241 and
                      plutonium-242. These types of material are of the quality used to make nuclear weapons.




                      Page 23                                          GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Chapter 2
Lack of Access to Nuclear Material Sites
Hinders Program Completion




nuclear material in Russia is in the nuclear weapons complex. MINATOM
oversees operations at sites in the weapons complex and at some civilian
sites.

DOE plans to improve security over Russia’s entire stockpile of weapons-
usable nuclear material to protect against both internal and external
threats by 2008. In 1998, DOE issued guidelines that provide criteria for
effectively reducing the risk of nuclear material theft in Russia.2 The
guidelines provide a categorization scheme for ranking the relative threat
posed by different types and quantities of material, which is used to
determine the extent and type of upgrades necessary to secure the
material. DOE has determined that 243 buildings at 40 sites in Russia
(including central alarm stations) require improved security systems to
better protect weapons-usable nuclear material from theft. Although DOE
may not yet have identified all buildings, DOE’s assessment serves as a
relatively stable baseline for planning, budgeting, and measuring the
progress of its assistance.

DOE is installing security improvements that protect against both the
internal and external threats of theft. DOE installs security upgrades in two
phases—rapid upgrades and comprehensive upgrades. Buildings that
contain material of high proliferation threat receive both rapid and
comprehensive upgrades, and buildings with material of less concern only
receive rapid upgrades. According to DOE officials, rapid upgrades are
primarily designed to delay and detect external adversaries. They include
bricking up windows in storage buildings; installing strengthened doors,
locks, and nuclear container seals; establishing controlled access areas
around nuclear material; and implementing procedures that require the
presence of two people when nuclear material is handled. Comprehensive
upgrades include electronic sensors, motion detectors, and closed circuit
television systems to detect intruders; central alarm stations, where guards
can monitor cameras and alarms; and computerized material accounting
systems. According to DOE officials, these comprehensive upgrades secure
against both internal and external threats.




2
 Programmatic Guidelines for Material Protection, Control, and Accounting Upgrades at
Russian Facilities (first published Dec. 1998, revised Sept. 2001).




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                      DOE has developed time frames for completing the program, including
                      schedules for individual sites, to assist in planning and budgeting. In our
                      February 2001 report,3 we reported that DOE anticipated completing
                      security improvements in Russia at all buildings with nuclear material by
                      2010. In fiscal year 2001, the Congress appropriated $101.1 million to help
                      protect Russian weapons-usable nuclear material.4 Congress increased the
                      appropriation for the program to $163.3 million in fiscal year 2002, and after
                      the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, further increased DOE’s
                      appropriation by $150 million. Because of these additional funds, DOE
                      revised its time frame for protecting all weapons-usable nuclear material in
                      Russia to 2008. Specifically, DOE plans to complete its work at naval fuel
                      storage sites in 2006, at civilian sites in 2007, and at the nuclear weapons
                      complex in 2008.



DOE Has Made Uneven   DOE’s progress in protecting weapons-usable nuclear material has varied
                      widely, depending on the type of site. As of January 2003, DOE had
Progress Securing     completed security improvements at most of the buildings at civilian sites
Nuclear Material in   and naval fuel storage sites. In contrast, DOE has not started work at the
                      majority of the buildings in the nuclear weapons complex, which contains
Russia                most of the remaining unprotected weapons-usable nuclear material in
                      Russia. Although DOE has now protected 38 percent, or about 228 metric
                      tons, of Russia’s weapons-usable nuclear material, the vast majority of the
                      remaining material is at sites in the nuclear weapons complex where, due
                      to Russian national security concerns, DOE has not gained access and
                      begun work. Because DOE has been largely unable to start new work in the
                      weapons complex, most of DOE’s new spending for fiscal years 2001 and
                      2002 was on programs other than installing security improvements at
                      buildings containing weapons-usable nuclear material.




                      3
                       U.S. General Accounting Office, Nuclear Nonproliferation: Security of Russia’s Nuclear
                      Material Improving; Further Enhancements Needed, GAO-01-312 (Washington, D.C.: Feb.
                      2001).
                      4
                       This figure represents new appropriations for DOE’s International Nuclear Material
                      Protection and Cooperation programs, excluding all funding for DOE’s efforts to secure
                      nuclear warheads at Russian Navy sites.




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Progress in Nuclear    As seen in figure 3, DOE has made the least progress in providing security
Weapons Complex Lags   at Russia’s nuclear weapons complex, where it has completed work at only
                       14 of the 133 buildings, or 11 percent.5 DOE has not started work at the
                       majority of the remaining buildings in the nuclear weapons complex
                       because MINATOM has not provided the necessary access.



                       Figure 3: Status of DOE Security Enhancements at Buildings with Weapons-Usable
                       Nuclear Material and Central Alarm Stations in Russia, January 2003




                       Note: The figure does not include the status of nuclear security systems installed by DOE at Russian
                       Navy nuclear warhead sites. See chapter three for information on DOE’s program to install security
                       systems at these sites. The figure includes central alarm stations, which do not contain nuclear
                       material but are part of the security system for buildings that do contain material.




                       5
                        We used number of buildings as a measure of progress because the total amount of material
                       protected at each type of site is classified.




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                           As of January 2003, DOE’s efforts to install security systems at all three
                           types of sites have protected 38 percent of Russia’s weapons-usable nuclear
                           material. The vast majority of the remaining material is in the nuclear
                           weapons complex, where some buildings hold several tons of uranium or
                           plutonium. Due to lack of access, DOE is installing security improvements
                           in the nuclear weapons complex at a much slower pace than it anticipated
                           when it issued its first cost and schedule estimate in 2000. At that time,
                           DOE planned to complete these upgrades by 2010. For example, DOE
                           originally anticipated beginning at least preliminary work in fiscal year
                           2001 at Russia’s four nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly sites (the
                           most sensitive parts of the nuclear weapons complex). As of January 2003,
                           according to DOE officials, work had not begun at any of these sites.
                           Progress at weapons complex sites where DOE has access can
                           dramatically increase the amount of material protected. For example, since
                           February 2001, DOE has increased the amount of material it has secured at
                           the Mayak Production Association, from 15 metric tons to 28 metric tons.

                           In contrast to Russia’s nuclear weapons complex, DOE has made
                           significant progress protecting buildings at civilian and naval fuel storage
                           sites and is nearing completion of its security upgrades at these sites. As of
                           January 2003, DOE had completed work at 78 percent (85 of 110) of the
                           buildings at these locations. DOE’s progress at the civilian and naval fuel
                           storage sites has been facilitated by generally good access to buildings with
                           weapons-usable nuclear material because Russia has fewer national
                           security concerns about these sites. For example, at Novosibirsk Chemical
                           Concentrates Plant, one of the largest civilian sites, DOE had adequate
                           access to construct a single storage facility to replace nine dilapidated
                           buildings that stored nuclear material. Furthermore, at one site in Russia’s
                           civilian sector where DOE suspended work in 1999 due to lack of access,
                           negotiations resumed for providing assistance in 2001, according to DOE
                           officials. DOE has since been granted access and made several trips to the
                           site and anticipates beginning work at that site early in 2003.



DOE’s Increased Funding    Because progress in installing security upgrades to buildings in the nuclear
Went to Other Objectives   weapons complex has been slowed, the majority of DOE’s additional
                           funding in 2001 and 2002 shifted to transportation security, guard force
                           support, and other assistance. These other assistance efforts included
                           supporting the operation and maintenance of security systems already
                           installed at sites, converting highly enriched uranium to a form that cannot




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                                         be used for weapons, and developing nuclear regulations.6 As seen in figure
                                         4, expenditures for security enchancements at buildings at civilian, naval
                                         fuel, and nuclear weapons complex sites decreased from the average of 72
                                         percent in fiscal years 1993 to 2000 to 43 percent in fiscal years 2001 and
                                         2002. The majority of DOE’s expenditures during fiscal years 2001 and 2002
                                         were for activities other than securing buildings such as securing material
                                         during transport and maintaining previously installed equipment. While
                                         these efforts are important, they do not directly advance DOE’s goal of
                                         securing all buildings in Russia with weapons-usable nuclear material by
                                         2008.



Figure 4: Changes in DOE’s Distribution of Expenditures Between 1993-2000 and 2001-2002




                                         Note: GAO analysis of DOE data.




                                         6
                                          For a more detailed discussion of DOE’s other efforts to secure nuclear material and
                                         related activities see appendix II.




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Access to Sensitive       DOE’s lack of access to many buildings that store weapons-usable nuclear
                          material, in particular to buildings in the nuclear weapons complex, is the
Sites Remains a Barrier   greatest challenge to providing assistance to improve nuclear material
to Completing Security    security in Russia. As set forth in its guidelines for improving nuclear
                          material security in Russia, DOE requires access to the buildings to design
Improvements by 2008      security systems and confirm their installation. However, despite DOE’s
                          efforts to gain access since 1995, MINATOM has continued to deny DOE
                          access to buildings in the nuclear weapons complex due to Russia’s
                          concerns about national security and laws that protect state secrets.

                          As of January 2003, DOE had obtained or anticipated obtaining access to 35
                          of the estimated 133 buildings in Russia’s nuclear weapons complex with
                          nuclear material. At the remaining 98 buildings (74 percent of the total),
                          DOE had no access to design or confirm the installation of security
                          systems. The level of access changed little since our February 2001 report,
                          which also found that DOE did not have access to about three quarters of
                          the buildings in Russia’s nuclear weapons complex. Russian officials in the
                          nuclear weapons complex told us that it is very unlikely they would ever
                          grant DOE physical access to the most sensitive areas.

                          As a result of the lack of access, DOE has not been able to improve security
                          at many buildings containing hundreds of metric tons of weapons-usable
                          nuclear material—the majority of the remaining nuclear material in Russia.
                          DOE has placed much of this material in its highest threat category and
                          would make it first priority for receiving security improvements if DOE had
                          access. The lack of access is likely to prevent DOE from accelerating
                          completion of security improvements in the nuclear weapons complex
                          from 2010 to 2008. In addition, DOE has not been able to confirm the
                          installation of security improvements at several sites in the nuclear
                          weapons complex where it funded security improvements before a stricter
                          policy requiring access to buildings receiving assistance was enforced. For
                          example, DOE spent approximately $1 million to install rapid and
                          comprehensive upgrades at a building in Snezhinsk (also known as
                          Chelyabinsk-70) where DOE has never had access. A DOE official said that
                          DOE would not have approved assistance to that building under the current
                          access policy.

                          To gain access to buildings in the weapons complex where it had not been
                          allowed to work, DOE signed an access agreement with MINATOM in
                          September 2001. In April 2002, DOE stated that this agreement would
                          enable DOE to begin new work at several buildings in the weapons



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             complex where it lacked access. However, the agreement did not facilitate
             DOE’s access to these buildings. The agreement only described
             administrative procedures, such as specifying which DOE personnel are
             allowed to make site visits and the number and duration of those visits.
             DOE and Russian officials stated that this agreement did little to improve
             DOE’s access to new buildings, and in some cases, the agreement reduced
             U.S. access. In fact, during our July 2002 visit, MINATOM used the
             agreement as a rationale for denying GAO access to two sites in Russia on
             the grounds that GAO staff were not on the access list.

             DOE is exploring the use of alternative access procedures, as allowed in its
             access policy. For example, at Snezhinsk, DOE used video and photographs
             instead of physical access to conduct a vulnerability assessment for part of
             a building where DOE did not have access. (DOE officials said that they
             had access to the rest of the building.) However, DOE has not yet expanded
             the use of alternative access beyond this building. In addition, DOE has
             proposed building new central storage facilities at some sites in the nuclear
             weapons complex as a way to accelerate security upgrades. Instead of
             improving security at many separate buildings, DOE would pay to build or
             convert one building to store the nuclear material from other buildings.
             DOE has agreed in principle to such an approach, at least at one site in the
             nuclear weapons complex, but DOE and MINATOM have not reached a
             final agreement or begun construction on a central storage facility.



Conclusion   DOE has made progress installing improved security systems for 38
             percent of the weapons-usable nuclear material in Russia. However, DOE
             will likely be unable to complete its work in Russia by 2008, as currently
             planned, largely due to Russia’s lack of cooperation on access to sensitive
             sites in the nuclear weapons complex. Because DOE has made little
             progress gaining access to new sites in the Russian weapons complex, it
             has shifted its funding from securing buildings with nuclear material to
             other program objectives. These other efforts, such as supporting the
             operation and maintenance of the security systems, are essential to the
             long-term success of the program and can contribute to the overall security
             of Russia’s weapons-usable nuclear material. Nevertheless, the trend
             toward these supporting activities raises potential concerns about the
             program’s focus and direction. While these other program activities are
             needed and relevant, they do not directly advance DOE’s objective of
             securing all buildings in Russia with weapons-usable material. In addition,
             in light of Russia’s long-standing and continued unwillingness to allow
             access to most of the sites in the weapons complex, DOE needs to



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                 seriously reconsider its ambitious goal of protecting all of Russia’s
                 weapons-usable nuclear material by 2008.



Recommendation   Given the current lack of access to many nuclear weapons complex sites,
                 the Secretary of Energy should reassess the department’s expedited plans
                 to provide security enhancements to Russian facilities housing weapons-
                 usable nuclear material.




                 Page 31                                    GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
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DOD and DOE Have Had Mixed Success
Protecting Nuclear Warheads                                                                                      Chapte3
                                                                                                                       r




                        DOD and DOE plan to improve security of nuclear warheads at Russia’s
                        storage sites and rail transfer points, where warheads are stored apart from
                        their delivery vehicles. However, the departments do not know the total
                        number of sites they plan to assist because Russia has provided only
                        limited information about site locations and security conditions. DOE has
                        scaled back its plans to assist operational sites, which support deployed
                        nuclear weapons, to comply with January 2003 U.S. interagency guidelines
                        that preclude assistance to most operational sites out of concern that U.S.
                        assistance could enhance Russia’s military capability. DOD’s and DOE’s
                        progress in improving security at nuclear warhead sites has been mixed.
                        DOD has made limited progress because its counterpart, the 12th Main
                        Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense, has installed less than half
                        of the fencing DOD has provided to protect sites against external threat. In
                        addition, the Ministry has not provided access to sites so that DOD can
                        address internal threats. In contrast, DOE has improved security at 33 of 36
                        sites because the Russian Navy has provided sufficient access to these
                        sites. However, DOE has improved security at some sites that would have
                        been prohibited from receiving assistance under U.S. interagency
                        guidelines.



DOD and DOE Are         Russia stores its nuclear warheads at three types of sites—storage sites,
                        operational sites, and rail transfer points.1 Table 1 provides an overview of
Addressing Different    plans that the DOD and DOE have to improve security at Russian nuclear
Segments of Russia’s    warhead sites.
Nuclear Warhead Sites




                        1
                        Unclassified U.S. estimates of the number of Russian warheads range from 18,000 to 25,000.




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Table 1: DOD and DOE Assistance for Nuclear Warhead Security in Russia

                Type of site                           Assistance plan
Storage sites Sites for the long-term maintenance DOD plans to improve security at all
              and storage of warheads.            storage sites. DOD has a classified
                                                  estimate of the total number of sites.

                                                       DOE is addressing security at five
                                                       Russian Navy storage sites and
                                                       plans to improve security at two or
                                                       more Strategic Rocket Forces
                                                       storage sites.
Operational     Sites that support deployed nuclear    DOD – no plans.
sites           weapons.
                                                       DOE originally planned to assist 27
                                                       Russian Navy operational sites but
                                                       has scaled back plans to comply
                                                       with U.S. interagency guidelines.
Rail transfer   Sites for securing warheads during     DOD – waiting for additional
points          transport.                             information before providing
                                                       assistance.

                                                       DOE is addressing security at four
                                                       Russian Navy rail transfer points
                                                       and plans to improve security at one
                                                       or more Strategic Rocket Forces rail
                                                       transfer points.
Source: GAO.

Note: GAO analysis of DOE and DOD information.


DOD and DOE both provide assistance to improve nuclear warhead
security in Russia because they work with different branches of the
Russian military. DOD has focused on improving security at storage sites
under the command of the 12th Main Directorate of the Russian Ministry of
Defense, the branch of the Russian military specifically responsible for
warhead security and maintenance. In contrast, DOE has focused on
improving security at Russian Navy sites, which include storage,
operational, and rail transfer sites, and has recently considered expanding
its assistance to Strategic Rocket Forces sites. DOE efforts to increase
security at operational sites, which support deployed nuclear weapons,
raised concerns in the Administration that security assistance might
enhance the military capability of Russia’s offensive nuclear force.
However, the Administration did not have a policy balancing the benefit of
increasing security at operational sites against the possibility of enhancing
military capability. In January 2003, U.S. interagency guidelines precluded



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                                DOD and DOE assistance to most operational sites. The guidelines allow
                                the departments to improve security at storage sites and rail transfer points
                                that support warhead storage, consolidation, dismantlement, or force
                                reductions, where security assistance it less likely to enhance operational
                                capability. The guidelines do not support assistance to operational sites
                                where mated or unmated warheads may be handled in the course of
                                training or deployment. While DOD’s security plans included only storage
                                sites and therefore complied with the guidelines, DOE has scaled back its
                                plans to comply with the guidelines.2



DOD Plans to Improve            DOD has focused on improving security at all of Russia’s storage sites,3
Security at All Storage Sites   including both the large national stockpile sites and smaller sites at Navy,
                                Air, and Strategic Rocket Forces bases. In 1995, DOD and the Russian
                                Ministry of Defense signed an agreement and began discussions on
                                improving security at Russia’s nuclear warhead sites. DOD chose to focus
                                on storage sites because it works solely with the 12th Main Directorate of
                                the Russian Ministry of Defense, which has jurisdiction over the large
                                national stockpile sites and shares jurisdiction over the smaller storage
                                sites located at military bases.4 According to DOD officials, the storage
                                sites may contain warheads for both tactical and strategic weapons5 and
                                warheads that Russia has slated for dismantlement.

                                The 12th Main Directorate has not provided DOD with information on the
                                total number or location of storage sites because it considers this
                                information to be classified or sensitive. However, the Directorate has
                                stated that it needs 123 kilometers of new perimeter fencing for 52
                                geographic locations throughout Russia. DOD has used this information to
                                estimate the total magnitude of security needs at Russia’s storage sites and



                                2
                                 We have not taken a position on whether security assistance to nuclear warhead sites
                                enhances operational capability.
                                3
                                DOD has a classified estimate of the total number of storage sites.
                                4
                                 Jurisdiction over operational sites and rail transfer points is less clear—the Navy, Air, and
                                Strategic Rocket Forces have jurisdiction over many of the sites, but the 12th Main
                                Directorate has been gradually trying to expand its jurisdiction over these sites.
                                5
                                 Strategic nuclear weapons generally have an intercontinental range and fall under U.S.-
                                Russian arms control agreements. Tactical nuclear weapons generally have a shorter range
                                and smaller yield.




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                            to develop its assistance plan. DOD estimates that security improvements
                            under this plan will be complete by 2010.

                            DOD has considered expanding its assistance to rail transfer points,
                            locations used to transfer warheads between trains and trucks and for
                            temporary warhead storage. While the U.S. interagency guidelines permit
                            assistance to rail transfer points, DOD has not yet developed a security
                            assistance plan for rail transfer points because the 12th Main Directorate
                            has provided little information on these sites. DOD officials stated that
                            warheads are most vulnerable at rail transfer points. The absence of a
                            security plan for these sites is a significant gap in DOD’s current plans for
                            enhancing security around Russian nuclear warheads.



DOE Is Improving Security   DOE is addressing security at 36 Russian Navy nuclear warhead sites: 5
at Russian Navy Sites       storage sites, 27 operational sites, and 4 rail transfer points.6 DOE estimates
                            that it will complete security improvements at the existing sites by 2006.
                            However, the U.S. interagency guidelines prohibited security assistance to
                            most operational sites. As a result of the guidelines and its own internal
                            review of assistance to operational sites, DOE has scaled back its plans for
                            enhancing security at Navy operational sites. At these sites, warheads may
                            be mated with delivery vehicles in preparation for deployment or loaded
                            onto ballistic missile submarines. Prior to the interagency guidelines, DOE
                            officials provided security assistance to Russian Navy sites because they
                            believed that security improvements to such sites would not enhance
                            Russia’s military capability. In 2002, DOE also began work in response to a
                            request from the Russian Ministry of Defense for assistance in securing
                            Strategic Rocket Forces nuclear warhead sites.



DOD and DOE Plan to         DOD and DOE have plans to provide a range of security improvements to
Address External and        address both external and internal threats. Examples of security
                            improvements that protect primarily against external threat include new
Internal Security Threats
                            perimeter fencing with sensors to detect intruders trying to penetrate the
                            fence, new guard towers and fighting positions to better detect and defend
                            against intruders, and reinforced vehicle entrance gates. Security


                            6
                             In our February 2001 review of DOE efforts to improve nuclear material security in Russia,
                            we reported that DOE was improving security at 42 Russian Navy nuclear warhead sites.
                            The number decreased to 36 because some of the sites include local zones that DOE had
                            counted as more than one site.




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                            improvements that protect against both internal and external threats
                            include access control systems that limit the site personnel who can enter
                            nuclear warhead storage areas and other systems that detect unauthorized
                            entry into bunkers by site personnel or outsiders.

                            DOD and DOE install security improvements in two phases. During the first
                            phase, DOD and DOE provide quick fixes and rapid upgrades, respectively,
                            to improve the security of site perimeters to protect against external
                            threats. During the second phase, DOD and DOE provide comprehensive
                            upgrades—the full range of security improvements that protect against
                            external and internal threats. The first phase costs about $1 million per site
                            and requires little analysis of existing security conditions. Comprehensive
                            upgrades cost about $10 million per site and require vulnerability
                            assessments—site-specific evaluations of the security conditions—to plan
                            and design the improved security systems. Both DOD and DOE require
                            physical access to a site before providing comprehensive upgrades.

                            DOD has other programs to help secure warheads that Russia plans to
                            dismantle and to improve the reliability and effectiveness of the guard
                            forces that protect nuclear warhead sites. The programs include
                            transportation security enhancements, a computerized warhead inventory
                            system, a facility to store nuclear material from dismantled warheads, and
                            equipment for guard forces and to test guard forces for drug and alcohol
                            abuse. For additional information on these programs, see appendix III.



Progress to Improve         DOD and DOE have made mixed progress in securing nuclear warheads in
                            Russia. DOD has made limited progress in securing storage sites. In
Security Has Been           contrast, DOE has made significant progress in improving security at
Mixed                       Russian Navy sites, but many of the operational sites DOE has assisted
                            would have been prohibited from receiving assistance under the January
                            2003 U.S. interagency guidelines.



DOD Has Made Limited        Since beginning discussions with the Russian Ministry of Defense in 1995
Progress in Improving       on providing security assistance to nuclear warhead sites, DOD has made
                            limited progress in improving security at the storage sites where it has
Security at Storage Sites
                            focused its efforts. DOD purchased 123 kilometers of perimeter fencing to
                            meet the requirements defined by the Russian Ministry of Defense for the
                            storage sites under its jurisdiction. The Russian Ministry of Defense agreed
                            to install the fencing at its own expense but has made limited progress in



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doing so. The fencing consists of three layers, including sensors to detect
intruders, and protects primarily against threats from outsiders.

DOD began delivering the fencing in late 1997, but the Ministry of Defense
reported in spring 2002 that it had installed about one third of the fencing—
42 kilometers at 52 locations—and was more than 2 years behind schedule
in installing the remainder. The Ministry of Defense has not provided DOD
with the location or number of sites where fencing has been installed, but
has indicated only the number of kilometers of fencing installed.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Defense has not updated the amount of
fencing installed since spring 2002 or given DOD a revised estimate of the
completion date for installing the fencing. According to DOD, the Ministry
of Defense lacks funding to cover the cost of paying experienced
contractors to install the fencing, which DOD estimates to be about $1
million per kilometer. DOD will not pay to install the fencing because the
Ministry of Defense has not provided DOD access to the sites.

DOD has not yet provided comprehensive upgrades—security systems that
protect against internal and external threats—at any of the storage sites.
DOD has tested and evaluated the comprehensive upgrades at the Security
Assessment and Training Center (SATC) near Moscow, but Russia has not
provided DOD access to the sites for the purpose of installing the upgrades.
DOD requires physical access to the sites because the installation of
comprehensive upgrades demands a greater level of design and security
expertise. In September 2002, in anticipation of reaching an agreement on
access with the Russian Ministry of Defense, DOD signed a contract for $83
million to install the comprehensive upgrades at eight storage sites.
According to DOD, work at these sites is expected to begin spring 2003.
DOD was unable to sign this contract earlier in 2002 as originally planned
because, in January 2002, the administration temporarily suspended the
Cooperative Threat Reduction program after it refused to certify that
Russia was complying with arms control agreements. This resulted in an 8-
month suspension of contracting for new nuclear warhead security
projects.7




7
 This suspension did not affect DOD’s ability to execute existing contracts. The National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 gave the President authority to waive
restrictions that required the administration to certify arms control compliance by Russia.
The President exercised this authority on January 14, 2003.




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DOE Has Improved Security   Since DOE began providing assistance to Russian Navy nuclear warhead
Over Most Russian Navy      sites in 1999, it has installed security improvements at 33 of the 36 sites
                            where the Navy requested assistance. At all 33 sites, DOE installed rapid
Sites                       upgrades that primarily protect against external threats. As of January
                            2003, DOE had also installed comprehensive upgrades that protect against
                            internal threats at 8 of the 33 sites. At five sites, DOE started but had not yet
                            completed comprehensive upgrades. The rapid upgrades include installing
                            or repairing perimeter fencing, replacing guard towers around the
                            perimeter of the sites to provide better protection for the guard forces, and
                            installing vehicle barriers at entrance gates. The comprehensive upgrades
                            are based on site-specific vulnerability assessments and include systems to
                            detect and assess intruders, control personnel access to the sites, and
                            improve the ability of guard forces to respond to alarms.

                            The 33 sites that received upgrades include the 5 storage sites over which
                            the Russian Navy and the Ministry of Defense share jurisdiction. The
                            remaining sites include 4 rail transfer points and 24 operational sites—
                            facilities where nuclear warheads are mated to delivery vehicles, piers for
                            loading and unloading nuclear weapons onto ballistic missile submarines,
                            and piers where ballistic missile submarines loaded with nuclear weapons
                            are docked.

                            The January 2003 U.S. interagency guidelines precluded further DOE
                            assistance to many operational sites. The guidelines permitted assistance
                            to storage sites and rail transfer points that support warhead storage,
                            consolidation, dismantlement, or force reductions. However, while it
                            allowed for exceptions, the policy prohibited assistance to operational
                            sites where mated or unmated warheads may be handled in the course of
                            training or deployment, such as piers where submarines loaded with
                            nuclear weapons are docked. The change in policy reflected concern that
                            U.S. assistance might enhance Russia’s military capability. To implement
                            this policy, DOE curtailed its plans to provide comprehensive security
                            improvements at operational sites where it had already installed rapid
                            upgrades. In addition, DOE will not provide further assistance to
                            operational sites that do not meet the policy’s guidelines.




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DOD and DOE Face             The departments face two challenges in securing Russia’s nuclear warhead
                             sites. The Russian Ministry of Defense has not allowed DOD to have access
Challenges in Securing       to Russia’s nuclear warhead sites. In addition, in spite of the U.S.
Russia’s Nuclear             interagency guidelines, DOD and DOE face challenges in coordinating their
                             programs.
Warhead Sites

DOE Has Had Sufficient       DOD and DOE require physical access to nuclear warhead sites to help
Access to Install Security   design security improvements and confirm that Russia has installed
                             security improvements as agreed before paying for the work. In particular,
Improvements, but DOD
                             they require access to site perimeters, entry control facilities, and guard
Has Not                      facilities where the bulk of the security improvements are installed. DOD
                             and DOE officials said that they do not require access inside the bunkers or
                             other areas where nuclear warheads are stored because they provide
                             minimal security improvements to those areas.

                             With the exception of visits to two sites that were used to demonstrate how
                             DOD would assess security needs and install security improvements, the
                             Russian Ministry of Defense has denied DOD access to nuclear warhead
                             sites to install security improvements. This lack of access has blocked DOD
                             from installing comprehensive upgrades, the full set of security
                             improvements that protect against both internal and external threats of
                             theft, despite DOD’s investment of $35 million to test and evaluate these
                             security improvements at the Security Assessment and Training Center
                             near Moscow. In addition, while DOD has purchased perimeter fencing for
                             the sites, it will not pay for installation without site access, even though
                             Russia is behind schedule in installing the fencing with its own funds.

                             DOD signed an access agreement with the Russian Ministry of Defense in
                             February 2003 and plans to begin providing comprehensive security
                             improvements at eight of the storage sites in spring 2003. The access
                             agreement provides for limited access by DOD representatives to Ministry
                             of Defense nuclear warhead sites where the Ministry requests DOD
                             security assistance. However, given previous delays and setbacks in gaining
                             Russia’s permission to visit nuclear warhead sites, additional delays
                             beyond spring 2003 are possible. For example, the Russian government
                             approved a law in spring 2002 that would allow DOD access to nuclear
                             warhead sites; however, negotiations with the Ministry of Defense on
                             procedures for implementing the law took longer than expected and
                             prevented DOD from obtaining access to sites as soon as it anticipated.




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                              Protecting Nuclear Warheads




                              Unlike DOD, DOE has obtained sufficient access to Russia’s nuclear
                              warhead sites to provide both rapid upgrades and comprehensive security
                              improvements. DOE has visited most of the Russian Navy nuclear warhead
                              sites—some sites as many as four times—to gather information to help
                              design security systems and observe the security improvements it has paid
                              to install. As part of this review, we also obtained access to two Navy sites
                              and saw vehicle barriers, perimeter fencing, guard towers, and entry
                              control facilities provided by DOE. Nevertheless, DOE has not visited 9 of
                              the 33 nuclear warhead sites where it has provided assistance. The Ministry
                              of Defense has restricted DOE’s access to some of these sites, and
                              according to DOE officials, they have not visited other sites because they
                              can realistically go to a limited number of sites each year. DOE officials
                              stated that they plan to eventually visit all of the Navy sites where they have
                              installed security improvements. DOD and DOE officials said various
                              factors might explain why DOE has received better access from the
                              Russian Navy than DOD has received from the 12th Main Directorate of the
                              Russian Ministry of Defense. For example, the Russian Navy may be more
                              willing to provide access because DOE teams are composed of civilian
                              security experts, whereas the 12th Main Directorate may be reluctant to
                              provide access to DOD military personnel. Alternatively, according to DOD
                              officials, the 12th Main Directorate, under Russian law, may consider its
                              storage sites to be more sensitive than operational sites.



DOD and DOE Have              DOD and DOE coordinate their efforts to improve nuclear warhead
Coordinated Their Efforts     security in Russia through an interagency working group and a joint
                              working group with their Russian counterparts. DOD and DOE have
but Have Followed Different
                              avoided duplication of effort, but they have not followed uniform policies.
Approaches                    Furthermore, they face several implementation issues that will require
                              continued coordination.

                              The interagency working group includes key representatives from DOD
                              and DOE and reports to the National Security Council. The group formed
                              after DOE began providing assistance to Russian Navy nuclear warhead
                              sites in 1999 and meets at least once a quarter and frequently every month.
                              The joint working group meets about every 6 months and includes key
                              representatives from DOD, DOE, the Russian Navy, and 12th Main
                              Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense. DOD and DOE officials said
                              that their interagency coordination was initially not good but had
                              improved, and they pointed to these working groups as a positive
                              development in coordination. Specifically, the officials said that they had




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avoided duplication of assistance, a primary objective of the working
groups.

Despite these efforts, DOD and DOE have pursued two different policies on
assistance to operational sites. While it did not specifically have a policy
against assistance to operational sites, DOD focused on storage sites,
where warheads are stored separate from their delivery vehicles. DOD
officials stated that focusing on storage sites helped avoid potentially
difficult policy decisions that could arise from directly assisting operational
military sites. In contrast, DOE structured its warhead security program
based on requests for assistance from the Russian Navy. Much of DOE’s
security assistance went to operational sites where warheads are deployed
with delivery vehicles because those were the sites for which the Russian
Navy requested upgrades. Only after U.S. interagency guidelines were
issued in January 2003, 3 years after DOE began providing assistance, did
DOE and DOD resolve this difference and institute a common policy that
balanced nuclear warhead security against the possibility of enhancing
Russia’s military capability.

While the U.S. interagency guidelines have resolved this primary issue,
DOD and DOE face other coordination issues. For example, DOD and DOE
have not determined which department will improve security at sites they
both include in their plans. The departments’ plans overlap because the
12th Main Directorate and the Russian military services (the Navy, Air, and
Strategic Rocket Forces) share jurisdiction over many nuclear warhead
sites. For example, five Russian Navy sites are storage sites that fall under
the jurisdiction of the Russian Navy and the 12th Main Directorate. The
Russian Navy requested assistance for these five sites from DOE, and the
12th Main Directorate requested assistance from DOD.8 Similarly, DOD and
DOE have not resolved which department will improve security at the
Strategic Rocket Forces’ nuclear warhead sites. Initially, DOD included
these sites in its plan, but in 2002 DOE received a request from the Russian
Ministry of Defense for assistance to these sites. DOE is pursuing this
request, has visited two sites, and has requested $24 million from Congress
to help secure Strategic Rocket Forces’ nuclear warhead sites in fiscal year
2004.




8
 DOE has already installed both rapid upgrades and comprehensive upgrades at one of the
sites and rapid upgrades at the other four.




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             DOD and DOE officials said that they do not have a position on which
             department should provide security assistance to sites identified in both
             their plans. Rather, they said that whichever agency has the best access and
             cooperation from their Russian counterpart should install security
             improvements. These decisions will be made on a site-by-site basis in the
             interagency working group. Since DOD has already purchased perimeter
             fencing for the Strategic Rocket Forces sites, DOD officials said that if DOE
             provides assistance to those sites, it should avoid duplication of assistance
             and use DOD equipment. In addition, under the current policy guidelines, it
             is possible that DOD and DOE could both help secure sites for the Strategic
             Rocket Forces.

             DOD and DOE are also using different vendors to purchase security
             equipment for Russian warhead storage sites. For example, DOD and DOE
             used different vendors to purchase different alarm communication and
             display systems that will perform essentially the same function. According
             to agency officials, using different vendors and different systems can have
             advantages such as accounting for different weather conditions. However,
             they also stated that more training and maintenance are required if
             agencies provide multiple, nonstandardized systems. The Departments do
             not have a plan to jointly evaluate and deploy equipment that balances the
             advantages and disadvantages of using standardized equipment. DOD
             officials stated that the equipment DOE uses should be tested at the SATC,
             the equipment testing and evaluation center that DOD established near
             Moscow. However, DOE officials said that they believed most, if not all, of
             the equipment they provide is standardized with DOD equipment and have
             not committed to testing the equipment DOE provides at the SATC.

             DOD and DOE may need to coordinate their assistance in other areas to
             ensure consistent policy. For example, both agencies provide assistance to
             improve guard force effectiveness. DOE is considering developing two
             guard force training centers for the Russian Navy, and DOD has provided
             assistance to use the SATC as a training center for the 12th Main
             Directorate.



Conclusion   The approaches that DOD and DOE have taken to improve the security of
             Russia’s nuclear warhead sites are complementary but have key
             differences. In particular, DOD has focused on Russia’s storage sites, and
             DOE has focused on Russian Navy sites that, with some exceptions, are
             largely separate from the sites receiving DOD assistance. Furthermore, the
             agencies’ different approaches have so far avoided overlap and allowed the



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                 United States to protect a greater number of sites. For example, DOE has
                 obtained sufficient access to install security improvements at most Russian
                 Navy sites, including rail transfer points, which are considered to be more
                 vulnerable to theft than storage sites. In contrast, while DOD has made
                 limited progress because it has not yet obtained the necessary access, it
                 has plans in place to improve security at Russia’s storage sites if the
                 Ministry of Defense provides access under its February 2003 access
                 agreement with DOD.

                 However, because DOD and DOE have different approaches to achieving a
                 common objective critical to U.S. national interests, coordination is
                 essential. DOD and DOE established mechanisms to share information and
                 avoid duplication, but they did not, until January 2003, have consistent
                 plans that balance nuclear warhead security improvements against the
                 possibility of enhancing the operational capability of Russia’s nuclear
                 forces. DOD and DOE now have consistent plans to follow as they
                 implement their programs. However, the departments will need to work
                 closely together on several areas as they proceed with their efforts to
                 improve the security of Russia’s nuclear warhead sites. Because of the
                 different approaches taken by DOD and DOE, it will be important to
                 address issues such as agency jurisdiction over Russian sites, equipment
                 standardization, and common approaches to training guard forces.



Recommendation   The Secretaries of Defense and Energy should develop an integrated plan
                 to ensure that their related programs to help secure Russia’s nuclear
                 warheads work together to address implementation issues, such as
                 determining which department will provide assistance to certain sites and
                 resolving equipment standardization concerns.




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Department of Defense Assistance to Secure
Former Biological Weapons Facilities Has Had
Limited Results                                                                                                         Chapte4
                                                                                                                              r




                               DOD has limited information on the location and security of Russian sites
                               with dangerous biological pathogens because the Russian government has
                               provided limited access to and information about these sites. While DOD
                               plans to address internal and external security threats at biological sites in
                               Russia, it has no time frames for completing this work, and it has not
                               determined how many biological sites in Russia should receive security
                               improvements. After more than 4 years of effort, DOD has made little
                               progress in addressing security concerns at these sites. As of December
                               2002, DOD had installed security equipment at two sites to protect against
                               external security threats but had not addressed insider threats by
                               increasing controls over access to materials or improving physical security
                               within labs. U.S. efforts to secure biological sites in Russia have faced
                               significant challenges. For example, the Russian government has closed
                               many sites to U.S. security assistance programs, and the United States has
                               been unable to negotiate an agreement with Russia that would expedite
                               DOD’s ability to provide security assistance.



DOD’s Plans for                DOD’s plans to secure Russia biological sites are based on limited
                               information about the number, location, pathogen collections, and security
Securing Biological            conditions at these facilities. DOD does not know how many sites in Russia
Facilities in Russia Are       have dangerous biological pathogens. Thus far, DOD has focused its
                               security program on sites where it has identified dangerous pathogen
Under Development              collections and where it has access. However, DOD does not know how
                               many sites it plans to help secure and has no time frames for completing its
                               work. DOD plans to address both internal and external security concerns at
                               sites where it has provided assistance.



Russia Inherited Most of the   During the Cold War, the Soviet Union developed the world’s largest and
Soviet Union’s Biological      most sophisticated offensive biological weapons program, a program that
                               developed weapons to spread smallpox, anthrax, plague, and other
Weapons Network
                               dangerous pathogens. Although it had ratified the Biological and Toxin
                               Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1972,1 the Soviet Union secretly continued
                               its biological weapons program for 2 more decades, employing 60,000


                               1
                                The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention prohibits countries from developing,
                               producing, stockpiling, or acquiring biological pathogens for offensive purposes. For
                               additional discussion on the Convention, see U.S. General Accounting Office, Arms Control:
                               Efforts to Strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention, GAO-02-1038NI (Washington,
                               D.C.: Sept. 30, 2002).




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personnel at more than 50 sites. They researched and developed a broad
range of pathogens with varying degrees of lethality for humans, animals,
and plants. In 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian
President Boris Yeltsin publicly confirmed the program’s existence and
announced its termination. However, Russia has not disclosed the locations
of all of its biological sites and the types of dangerous pathogens stored at
these sites.2

In the 1990’s, Russian security systems and supporting infrastructure at
biological sites deteriorated as the Russian government decreased funding
and reduced staff size. At some sites, perimeter security systems are more
than 25 years old and can no longer be repaired. Figure 5 shows unstable
perimeter fencing around a biological site in Russia.




2
 Biological pathogens are viruses such as smallpox, bacteria such as anthrax, and toxins
such as botulinum toxin. Dangerous biological pathogens can be genetically engineered and
combined with dispersion technology, such as bombs or artillery shells to create weapons of
mass destruction that cause illness or death in humans, animals, or plants.




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Figure 5: Unstable Perimeter Fence at a Biological Site in Russia, before Security
Upgrades




Additionally, biological pathogens are small and difficult to detect, making
them easy to steal. Once stolen, they can be grown almost anywhere.
Russian biological sites have weak internal controls over access to
pathogen collections. For example, as shown in figure 5, a lock and a seal
of string pressed into wax secure an area at a former biological weapons
site where dangerous pathogens are stored.




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Figure 6: Wax and String Seal Securing Room with Dangerous Biological Pathogens




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DOD Has Limited              The Russian government has not provided DOD with a complete inventory
Information on the Numbers   of all the sites in Russia that store dangerous pathogens. The United States
                             and Russia have collaborative research projects at 49 Russian biological
of Russian Sites with        sites, a number that includes many former biological weapons facilities.
Dangerous Biological         These sites have provided participating U.S. agencies with opportunities to
Pathogens                    observe the security needs at these sites.3 However, DOD has projects
                             under way and thus direct knowledge of the security needs at only 14 of the
                             49 sites. DOD’s information on the other sites is limited because DOD
                             officials have to rely on other U.S. agencies to notify the department if they
                             observe dangerous pathogen collections or have biosecurity concerns at
                             the facilities where they operate. However, U.S. agencies have not received
                             full access to information at the biological sites because the managers of
                             these facilities are concerned about Russian national security and want to
                             conceal former participation in the Soviet biological weapons program,
                             according to a DOD official.

                             To help focus its assistance, DOD began work on a strategic plan in April
                             2002. As of January 2003, the draft plan had not been approved by the
                             Deputy Under Secretary of Defense. The plan is expected to set policy for
                             DOD’s biological security assistance and other biological weapons facility
                             programs, including collaborative research, biological facility safety
                             projects, and new initiatives to provide early warning of outbreaks of
                             dangerous diseases in Central Asia. DOD officials said that after the
                             strategic plan is approved, DOD will prepare an implementation plan with
                             schedules and deadlines for the biological security project and other
                             biological weapons facility projects it implements.

                             Despite uncertainty over the exact number of biological facilities in Russia,
                             a DOD official estimated that the department may eventually help upgrade
                             security at about 20 Russian biological sites housing dangerous pathogens.
                             DOD plans to encourage Russian ministries to consolidate biological
                             pathogen collections from smaller centers at larger facilities and thereby
                             decrease the number of facilities that store dangerous pathogens.
                             According to DOD, not all former bioweapons facilities currently have
                             dangerous pathogens and therefore would not be considered by DOD for
                             biosecurity assistance. Currently there is no time frame for completing this
                             work.

                             3
                              In addition to DOD, DOE, and State, U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services,
                             Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency have established collaborative
                             research projects at biological sites in Russia.




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DOD Plans to Address     DOD plans to address both internal and external security threats at
Internal and External    biological sites but to date has focused on protecting against external
                         threats. Biological sites have unique characteristics that make them
Security Threats         especially vulnerable to internal security threats, however. Experts have
                         stated that there is a greater threat of potential proliferation of dangerous
                         pathogens from insiders than from an outside attack because biological
                         pathogens are small and can be smuggled out of a site without detection.
                         According to a U.S. biosecurity expert, managers at Russian biological sites
                         have been slow to acknowledge the potential of internal security threats.
                         For example, officials at the Russian biological sites we visited stated that
                         they knew their staff well and would notice if an individual posed a security
                         threat because laboratory staff live and work in close quarters. These
                         officials recognized the potential for insider security threats and said they
                         would consider measures to mitigate these threats. According to a DOD
                         official, the department intends to include measures to improve personnel
                         screening and install systems to keep track of the pathogen collections.



DOD’s Biological         U.S. efforts to upgrade security at Russian biological institutes have been
                         directed at facilities with dangerous pathogens that the Russians have been
Security Projects Have   willing to let DOD assist. Since 1998, DOD has upgraded security at the two
Made Little Progress     largest former biological weapons facilities in Russia: the State Research
                         Center for Virology and Biotechnology (Vector) and the State Research
                         Center for Applied Microbiology (Obolensk). Also, in 2002, DOD began
                         assessments for physical security improvements at two additional centers:
                         the Russian Research Institute of Phytopathology at Golitsino (Golitsino)
                         and the Pokrov Biologics Plant (Pokrov). As of September 2002, DOD
                         estimates4 that it had obligated about $14 million5 to improve security at
                         Russian biological facilities.




                         4
                          Since some DOD contractors work on both biosecurity and biosafety projects, DOD does
                         not track these projects separately. DOD has therefore estimated how this assistance is
                         divided between biosecurity and biosafety efforts.
                         5
                          Although the objectives of biosecurity and biosafety programs differ, some equipment, such
                         as closed-circuit television and locks for laboratories that contain dangerous biological
                         pathogens, can enhance both biosecurity and biosafety. As part of its biosafety projects,
                         DOD has installed such equipment at two locations in Russia.




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Biosecurity Projects Under   As of December 2002, biosecurity projects are under way at 4 of the 49
Way at Four Sites            biological sites in Russia that may require assistance. DOD officials stated
                             that the department’s efforts to help secure biological pathogens started
                             later than work to secure other WMD because biological pathogen security
                             was viewed as a lower priority. Also, according to DOD officials,
                             relationships with the management of biological facilities have to be built
                             before they will consider U.S. biosecurity assistance. Vector, one of the
                             world’s two declared sites of smallpox storage, contains a large collection
                             of viral pathogens. Obolensk maintains a large collection of pathogens that
                             includes genetically engineered anthrax. Golitsino and Pokrov were part of
                             the Soviet Union’s extensive bioweapons program that was directed toward
                             the development of plant and animal pathogens. Other sites, including
                             Russia’s system of antiplague sites, which are believed to store various
                             strains of the plague and other pathogens, may have more dangerous
                             pathogens than Golitsino and Pokrov, but the United States has no access
                             to them, according to DOD officials.

                             At Vector and Obolensk, biosecurity projects have improved perimeter and
                             building entrance security. However, biosecurity assistance provided at
                             Vector and Obolensk has not addressed the threat of theft by insiders or
                             improved security over areas where research with hazardous materials is
                             conducted or collections are stored. At both sites, biosecurity
                             improvements involved construction and relocation of fences, installation
                             of electronic sensors, strengthening of entrances to laboratory buildings
                             where high hazard pathogens were stored or used in research, construction
                             of guard facilities, and installation of equipment at central alarm stations.
                             These projects progressed slowly in part because a second set of threat and
                             vulnerability assessments was required after DOD found the initial set to be
                             incomplete. At Vector and Obolensk, a second set of threat and
                             vulnerability assessments was undertaken in September 2002 by a U.S.
                             contractor and was completed in December 2002. Figure 7 shows new
                             fencing installed at Vector and figure 8 shows two cabinets of computer
                             equipment installed at Obolensk to monitor security video and electronic
                             sensors.




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Figure 7: DOD-Funded Three-fence Perimeter around Buildings at Vector with
Smallpox and Other Dangerous Pathogens




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Figure 8: DOD-Funded Improvements to Central Alarm Station at Russian Biological
Site at Obolensk Used to Monitor the New Security System




The projects at the Golitsino and Pokrov agricultural centers illustrate the
slow progress of biosecurity projects. After 2 years of discussion and
planning, initial threat and vulnerability assessments began in September
2002 and were completed in December 2002. DOD has yet to determine
when it will begin security improvements at these sites.

Although DOD’s slow start and Russia’s limited cooperation were major
reasons for the lack of progress in biosecurity assistance, DOD officials
point to the suspension of new projects in 2002 as the cause of further
delays. In January 2002, the administration temporarily suspended the
Cooperative Threat Reduction Program in Russia when it refused to certify
that Russia was complying with arms control agreements. This resulted in




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                            an 8-month suspension of contracting for new biological security projects.6
                            DOD was unable to obligate funds to conduct threat and vulnerability
                            assessments to initiate a second phase of security assistance at Vector and
                            Obolensk, nor was it able to start threat and vulnerability assessments at
                            Golitsino and Pokrov.



U.S. Biological Security    U.S. efforts to help secure former biological weapons facilities in Russia
                            face many challenges. First, DOD has been unable to work directly with
Assistance Projects         Russian biological sites due to stalled negotiations on an interministerial
Face Many Challenges        implementing agreement. Second, the United States does not have access
                            to former biological weapons sites. As a result, the biological security
                            program has taken longer and accomplished less than expected.



Stalled Negotiations with   The United States cannot efficiently provide assistance to Russian
Russians Have Hampered      institutes without having an implementing agreement with the Russian
                            government. According to DOD officials, an implementing agreement
DOD Work                    between all the relevant Russian ministries and DOD would expedite the
                            installation of security projects because DOD could work directly with the
                            institutes.

                            Multiple Russian organizations and ministries have jurisdiction over the
                            military and civilian centers that were part of the former biological
                            weapons complex in Russia. Jurisdiction resides in nine Russian
                            government organizations: The Ministries of Defense, Health, Science,
                            Agriculture, and Education; the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences; the
                            Russian Academy of Agricultural Science; the Russian Academy of Natural
                            Sciences; and Biopreparat, an organization that now develops
                            pharmaceuticals but previously controlled the Soviet Union’s biological
                            weapons technology centers. In addition, the Ministry of Health has five
                            antiplague institutes and numerous regional field stations that maintain
                            pathogen collections and had a lead role in the Soviet Union’s bioweapons
                            program.


                            6
                             The 8-month suspension did not affect DOD’s ability to execute existing contracts.
                            Therefore, according to DOD officials, the department was able to continue implementing
                            chemical and some nuclear warhead security projects. The National Defense Authorization
                            Act for Fiscal Year 2003 gave the President authority to waive restrictions that required the
                            administration to certify arms control compliance by Russia. The President exercised this
                            authority on January 14, 2003.




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The lack of a single Russian focal point for DOD’s bioweapons security
projects is a major barrier to successfully negotiating an agreement
between the United States and Russia. Since 1992, an umbrella agreement7
between the United States and Russia has allowed U.S. Cooperative Threat
Reduction projects for biosecurity, biosafety, and dangerous pathogens, as
it has for nuclear and chemical projects in Russia. However, additional
interministerial implementation agreements are needed to facilitate DOD’s
biosecurity assistance. In 1999, the Russian Government rejected a draft
implementing agreement between DOD and the Ministry of Health on the
grounds that it was not appropriate for that ministry to enter into an
exclusive agreement with DOD. The Russian government similarly rejected
a subsequent U.S.-proposed implementing agreement between the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services and the Russian Ministry of
Health. The Department of State approached individual Russian ministries
directly and also suggested that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sign
a separate agreement with the United States that would allow
implementing agreements with multiple Russian ministries. None of these
efforts has been successful. Without an interministerial implementing
agreement, DOD cannot begin to directly secure Russia’s former biological
weapons facilities. As a result, DOD has to provide assistance through an
intermediary organization that has an agreement with the Russian
government. DOD has negotiated implementing agreements and avoided
this problem in three Eurasian republics, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and
Uzbekistan, and is finalizing an agreement with Ukraine.

As an alternative to an implementing agreement, DOD has used an existing
program, the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC), to begin
security projects at Russian biological sites. However, ISTC was
implementing hundreds of research projects and was unable to accord
DOD projects as high a priority as DOD wished. ISTC is an international
organization in Moscow founded by the United States, Russia, the
European Union and Japan to engage former weapon scientists in peaceful




7
 Agreement Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation Concerning
the Safe and Secure Transportation, Storage, and Destruction of Weapons and the
Prevention of Weapons Proliferation, dated June 17, 1992, and extended June 15-16, 1999.




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                           scientific research.8 ISTC was created to prevent the proliferation of former
                           Soviet WMD expertise by offering nuclear, biological and chemical
                           weapons and missile scientists peaceful research opportunities and thus
                           discouraging them from selling their expertise to countries of concern or
                           terrorist groups. The bulk of ISTC’s funding pays scientists for their work,
                           with some limited spending for laboratory equipment or computers.

                           ISTC agreed to facilitate DOD’s biosecurity projects in Russia because the
                           U.S. government had an existing agreement with ISTC that allowed it to
                           finance a range of research projects and other activities. However, ISTC’s
                           procurement system was not set up to handle the large contracts necessary
                           for engineering and construction projects. In addition, approval of all ISTC
                           proposals, including the biosecurity proposals, took time, partly because
                           ISTC had to obtain host-government concurrence for each proposal from
                           the Ministry of Atomic Energy; the Ministry of Industry, Science and
                           Technology; the Ministry of Defense or the Academy of Science. Also,
                           according to DOD officials, a shortage of administrative and managerial
                           staff at ISTC impeded ISTC’s efforts to process DOD’s biosecurity projects.
                           In 2001, DOD funded additional staff positions at ISTC to help expedite the
                           processing of its security projects.

                           According to DOD officials, until an interministerial implementing
                           agreement is negotiated, DOD biosecurity projects will continue to be
                           managed through ISTC. Despite frustration with ISTC’s slow pace, DOD
                           officials stated that ISTC’s role was critical in implementing U.S. assistance
                           at Russian bioweapons facilities.



DOD Lacks Access to Many   While DOD has identified several former biological weapons sites in Russia
Former Bioweapons Sites    where it would like to provide biological security assistance, the Russian
                           government has consistently refused to grant DOD access to certain
                           facilities managed by the ministries of Health, Defense, and Agriculture.
                           For example, the Russian Ministry of Health maintains five antiplague
                           institutes and a network of numerous antiplague field stations. These
                           institutes and stations were part of the former Soviet system of medical
                           facilities housing dangerous pathogen collections for research and are
                           completely closed to U.S. assistance programs. Bioweapons experts have


                           8
                            For additional information on ISTC, see U.S. General Accounting Office, Weapons of Mass
                           Destruction: State Department Oversight of Science Centers Program, GAO-01-582
                           (Washington, D.C.: May 10, 2001).




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             reported that, as part of the Soviet bioweapons program, the anti-plague
             network helped identify new virulent strains of pathogens and participated
             in research on defensive measures. These facilities specialized in animal
             diseases that are communicable to man, such as plague, tularemia, anthrax,
             and cholera. According to DOD officials, the ministry was concerned that
             participation in Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) programs would be
             an admission that the antiplague centers had taken part in the Soviet
             biological weapons program. DOD also lacks access to four former
             Ministry of Defense biological weapons sites. These laboratories were
             involved in pathogen- and toxin-related research and maintained large
             pathogen collections. A major animal pathogen institute of the Ministry of
             Agriculture also remains closed to biosecurity assistance.

             DOD has made some progress in gaining access to one of the four Ministry
             of Defense facilities. In August 2002, U.S. Senator Richard Lugar was
             instrumental in initiating discussions with the management of the former
             Ministry of Defense facility, Kirov-200 (Strizhi), about potential
             collaborative research projects, according to a DOD official. The Russian
             government has nearly completed a transfer of ownership of the facility
             from the Ministry of Defense to the Ministry of Education. This institute’s
             new civilian status is expected to enable future security projects with DOD.



Conclusion   DOD has accomplished little to date to help protect Russian sites with
             dangerous biological pathogens because the department has little
             information about biological sites in Russia and has received limited
             Russian cooperation. Presently, DOD plans to improve security at two sites
             that are of lesser security concern than others because the department has
             access to those two sites. By targeting sites where it has access, DOD
             maintains relationships with the Russian bioweapons establishment, which
             is an important objective. However, in the long term, this approach means
             that DOD will not be able to improve security at locations with dangerous
             pathogens that are of greatest security concern to the United States. DOD
             could benefit from DOE’s past experience in assessing site security
             requirements around buildings with weapons-usable nuclear material.
             Specifically, DOE developed a categorization scheme for ranking the
             relative threat posed by different types of material, which it used to decide
             on the extent of upgrades to be installed at specific buildings. Without
             complete assessments of the locations, pathogen collections, and security
             needs at sites in Russia that have dangerous biological weapons, DOD will
             have difficulty guiding its program.




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Recommendation   In developing the department’s plan to enhance security at Russian
                 biological sites, the Secretary of Defense should clearly articulate criteria
                 the department should use to rank the relative threat posed by different
                 types of pathogens and review the security under which they are kept to
                 identify the biological sites that pose the greatest security risks and would
                 therefore have highest priority for and receive the most extensive U.S.
                 assistance.




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Russia’s Chemical Weapons Storage Sites                                                                             Chapte5
                                                                                                                          r




                        Since the early 1990s, DOD has focused its nonproliferation efforts on the
                        construction of a facility to destroy Russia’s 40,000 metric ton stockpile of
                        chemical weapons. Because construction of the facility was taking longer
                        than expected, in fiscal year 2000, Congress directed DOD to develop
                        additional plans to protect Russia’s chemical weapons storage sites. DOD
                        has since developed plans to address external threats at two chemical
                        weapons sites that store nerve agent in small portable munitions. DOD
                        plans to complete this work in fall 2003 but has no plans to extend the
                        program to the five other sites, three of which store nerve agent and two
                        that store blister agent. As a result, a large quantity of chemical weapons in
                        Russia will remain vulnerable to theft or diversion.



DOD Plans to Address    In 1998, under the terms of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC),1
                        Russia declared that it had stockpiled 40,000 metric tons of chemical
External Security at    weapons, the largest stockpile in the world. The Organization for the
Two of Russia’s Seven   Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW),2 the implementing agency of
                        the CWC, conducts inspections at chemical weapons facilities and reports
Chemical Weapons        its findings to member states, including the United States. OPCW regularly
Storage Sites           inspects Russia’s chemical weapons stockpile.

                        DOD has information concerning the quantity, location, and physical
                        security conditions at Russia’s declared chemical weapons storage sites
                        and has plans to address external security at two sites. However, chemical
                        weapons are stored at seven sites in Russia (see table 2). Five of these sites
                        store nerve agent, which is considered the most dangerous form of
                        chemical weapon.3 DOD officials stated that two of these sites, Kizner and


                        1
                         The CWC, which Russia signed in 1993, prohibits the development, production, acquisition,
                        stockpiling, retention, transfer, and use of chemical weapons. The convention entered into
                        force on April 29, 1997, and requires signatory states to destroy any stocks that they may
                        have of such weapons over a 10-year period but provides for a possible 5-year extension.
                        Russia ratified CWC in 1997 and must destroy its declared 40,000 metric ton stockpile by
                        2007. Russia has requested a 5-year extension to 2012. DOD has concerns about the veracity
                        and completeness of Russia’s CWC declaration.
                        2
                         See U.S. General Accounting Office, Chemical Weapons: Organization for the Prohibition
                        of Chemical Weapons Needs Comprehensive Plan to Correct Budgeting Weaknesses, GAO-
                        03-5 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 24, 2002). The OPCW conducts inspections at chemical
                        weapons storage, production, and destruction facilities in member states.
                        3
                         Russia’s nerve agent stockpile includes VX, sarin, and soman. Nerve agents cause rapid
                        death through the disruption of nerve-impulse transmission in the central nervous system.
                        As little as one drop is lethal to a human.




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Shchuch’ye, pose the greatest threat to U.S. national security interests
because they house nerve agent stored in small artillery shells, some light
enough to be transported by an individual. The three other nerve agent
sites store large air-delivered bombs and spray tanks. Two remaining sites
store blister agents in bulk containers, which are considered less of a threat
to U.S. national security interests.4 Further, a destruction facility for blister
agents funded mainly by Germany began operation in December 2002.



Table 2: Russian Chemical Weapons Storage Sites

Site Name                       Type of agent                           Type of munitions
Kizner                          Nerve (VX, sarin, soman)                Small artillery shells
Shchuch’ye                      Nerve (VX, sarin, soman)                Small artillery shells
Pochep                          Nerve (VX, sarin, soman)                Air-deliverable bombs
Maradykovsky                    Nerve (VX, sarin, soman)                Air-deliverable bombs
Leonidovka                      Nerve (VX, sarin, soman)                Air-deliverable bombs
Kambarka                        Blister (lewisite)                      Bulk containers
Gorny                           Blister (mustard, lewisite)             Bulk containers
Source: Russian Munitions Agency.

Note: The Kizner site also stores some lewisite. The Maradykovsky and Gorny sites also store some
mustard-lewisite mixture.


DOD has focused its efforts on the construction of a chemical weapons
destruction facility at the Shchuch’ye chemical weapons storage site.
According to DOD officials, the destruction of Russia’s chemical weapons
stockpile, especially its nerve agents, would significantly reduce the threat
faced by the United States. Planning began in 1994, and completion of the
facility is scheduled for 2006. Russia plans to destroy all its nerve agent
munitions at the facility. As of November 2002, DOD had obligated more
than $218 million on the design and preliminary construction of the
destruction facility. Although the Russian Munitions Agency, which is
charged with the safe storage and destruction of Russia’s chemical
weapons stockpile, plans to destroy all of its declared chemical weapons
by the CWC mandated deadline of 2012, the lack of progress and financial
difficulties thus far make it doubtful that this deadline will be met. Current


4
 Russia’s blister agent stockpile includes mustard gas, lewisite, and mustard-lewisite
mixture. Blister agents can be lethal if inhaled but generally cause slow-to-heal burns on
contact with skin.




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estimates, based on the capacity of the facility, indicate that Russia will not
be able to completely destroy its nerve agent stockpile for at least 40 years
unless it builds additional destruction facilities.

In 1999,5 we reported that the Shchuch’ye destruction facility was behind
schedule and might not fully achieve U.S. objectives. In response, Congress
denied funding for the project in fiscal year 2000 and directed DOD to
address security concerns at Russia’s chemical weapons storage sites.
Congress appropriated $20 million in fiscal year 2000 for security
enhancements at chemical weapons storage sites in Russia. As a result of
this congressional direction, DOD chose to address the external threat at
the two chemical weapons storage sites in Russia that store nerve agent in
small portable munitions, Kizner and Shchuch’ye. Figure 9 shows an
official taking inventory of small nerve agent artillery shells at the
Shchuch’ye storage site.




5
 See U.S. General Accounting Office, Weapons of Mass Destruction: Effort to Reduce
Russian Arsenals May Cost More, Achieve Less Than Planned, GAO/NSIAD-99-76
(Washington, D.C.: Apr. 13, 1999).




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                       Figure 9: Chemical Weapon Artillery Rounds inside Russian Chemical Weapons
                       Storage Building at Shchuch’ye




                       DOD’s strategy for upgrading chemical weapons site security to address
                       external threat at these two sites involves two phases. First, a series of
                       upgrades were installed around individual buildings. Second, upgrades will
                       be installed around the perimeter of each site and the central alarm
                       stations. DOD plans to complete these upgrades by fall 2003.



DOD Is on Track to     As of October 2002, DOD had obligated $19.8 million of its $20 million
                       appropriation for chemical weapons site security. In November 2001, DOD
Complete Work at Two   began installing the first phase of its security enhancement package for
Sites by 2003          chemical weapons sites: the installation of microwave sensors and fencing
                       around individual storage buildings or groups of storage buildings that
                       contain small portable munitions, according to DOD. These upgrades cost
                       $220,000 per site and were installed at both Kizner and Shchuch’ye. The
                       sensors are the primary deterrent to proliferators because they alert guards
                       to any access to the protected buildings. During our visit to these sites, we



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observed that the U.S.-funded fences around individual buildings were
approximately 3 feet high and were primarily designed to reduce the
number of false alarms caused by animals. A total of 8 buildings at
Shchuch’ye and 23 buildings at Kizner have been protected by the first
phase of DOD upgrades. This first phase of upgrades was completed in
February 2002.

In July 2002, DOD began work on the second phase of its security
enhancement package at Kizner and Shchuch’ye. These upgrades include
the installation of enhanced site perimeters with two layers of fencing,
sensors, lights, and closed circuit television cameras and improved central
alarm stations. DOD plans to complete these upgrades by fall 2003. Once
these security upgrades are complete, DOD will have secured 35 percent of
Russia’s stockpile of nerve agent chemical weapons. The remaining 65
percent of nerve agent stocks are stored at three sites where no U.S.-
funded security enhancements are planned. In addition, according to DOD
officials, no plans exist to install a personnel reliability program,6 an
improved accounting system, or other equipment to address insider threats
at any chemical weapons storage site in Russia.

Progress in implementing site security upgrades at chemical weapons
storage sites has been expedited by good access and cooperation from the
Russian government. DOD officials stated that access to Russia’s chemical
weapons storage sites has not slowed the progress of the program and that
they have been able to obtain the information necessary to perform the
work. DOD officials believe that access has been good because Russia has
declared its stockpile and OPCW inspectors are periodically present. We
also had good access to both Kizner and Shchuch’ye when we visited
Russia in July 2002. We were shown examples of the upgrades installed
around individual buildings at both sites, saw the equipment for the site
perimeter upgrades awaiting installation, and had access to portions of the
site perimeters and entry control points.




6
 A personnel reliability program (PRP) is used to screen personnel at facilities for drug,
alcohol, and other problems through comprehensive screening.




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Russian Government    DOD officials have expressed concerns about the security of Russia’s
                      chemical weapons storage facilities, yet no further security upgrades are
Wants to Focus on     planned. One reason is because the Russian government has expressed
Destruction Not       little interest in expanding the security enhancement program. The head of
                      the Russian Munitions Agency, the agency charged with the safe storage
Security;             and destruction of Russia’s chemical weapons stockpile, stated that his
Transportation        preference is that the United States fund the completion of the planned
Security Is an        chemical weapons destruction facility at Shchuch’ye rather than improve
                      the security around Russia’s chemical weapons storage sites. He
Impending Challenge   maintained that the only real long-term security for Russia’s chemical
                      weapons is their destruction, though he was unopposed to an expansion of
                      the site security upgrade program.

                      An additional challenge is ensuring that Russia’s chemical weapons have
                      adequate security as they are transported to the destruction facility. DOD
                      has not begun discussions with Russia on the security that will be required
                      for chemical munitions as they are transferred from storage sites to the
                      planned chemical weapons destruction facility at Shchuch’ye. DOD
                      officials and security experts acknowledge that dangerous materials are
                      very vulnerable during transport. Because Russia plans to destroy all of its
                      nerve agent chemical weapons at the U.S.-funded destruction facility at
                      Shchuch’ye, Russia will be transporting thousands of metric tons of
                      chemical nerve agent from five storage sites, most of which are more than
                      500 miles from the planned facility. According to DOD officials, Russia has
                      yet to develop a practical plan for securing chemical weapons in transit to
                      the planned destruction facility. The United States already has programs in
                      place to aid Russia in securing nuclear weapons and material during
                      transport. Although this security concern will not arise before the
                      scheduled completion of the destruction facility in 2006, none of the U.S.
                      officials we interviewed had assessed the potential implications for
                      security or whether the United States would need to assist Russia with the
                      expense of transportation and security of chemical weapons during transit.



Conclusion            DOD and Russia’s plans for securing only two chemical weapons sites
                      appears to be based less on an assessment of the potential long-term
                      security risks of leaving 65 percent of Russia’s nerve agent unsecured, than
                      on a desire to focus on building a destruction facility. With a lengthy
                      destruction process yet to begin for Russia’s nerve agent stockpile,
                      concerns about the security of these weapons will persist. The further
                      challenge of securing chemical weapons in transit to the planned



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                  destruction facility looms on the horizon, though DOD has no plans to
                  address it.



Recommendations   Given the lengthy time frame for the destruction of Russia’s chemical
                  weapons stockpile, the Secretary of Defense should consider:

                  • reassessing the need to provide improved security at the three sites in
                    Russia that store nerve agent but have not received U.S. security
                    assistance; and

                  • working with Russian officials to develop practical plans for securing
                    chemical weapons while in transit to the planned destruction facility at
                    Shchuch’ye.



Matter for        Congress may wish to consider allocating additional funds for improving
                  security at the three remaining sites in Russia that store nerve agent but
Congressional     have not received U.S. security assistance.
Consideration




                  Page 64                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix I

Sites in Russia That We Visited in July 2002                                                              AA
                                                                                                           ppp
                                                                                                             ep
                                                                                                              ned
                                                                                                                n
                                                                                                                x
                                                                                                                id
                                                                                                                 e
                                                                                                                 x
                                                                                                                 Iis




                         During July 2002, we visited 14 sites in Russia where the Department of
                         Defense (DOD) or Department of Energy (DOE) had programs under way
                         to help secure nuclear material, nuclear warheads, dangerous biological
                         pathogens, or chemical weapons (see figure 10 for a map showing the
                         locations and type of sites visited).



                         Figure 10: Sites GAO Visited During July 2002 Fieldwork




Nuclear Material Sites   We visited three nuclear material sites and met with officials from two
                         additional sites:

                         • Moscow State Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) – MEPhI is a
                           large university located in southeast Moscow. The institute specializes
                           in nuclear physics research and training and operates a research reactor
                           using highly enriched uranium. The institute has a small quantity of
                           weapons-usable nuclear material on site with DOE-funded security
                           upgrades. DOE has a pilot project for its Material Protection, Control
                           and Accounting (MPC&A), Operations Monitoring (MOM) system at



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Sites in Russia That We Visited in July 2002




   MEPhI. During our visit we observed the installed DOE-funded security
   enhancements, saw the MOM system in operation, and spoke with site
   officials about their approaches to security, their relationship with DOE,
   and their thoughts about the MOM system.

• Northern Fleet Storage Facility Site 49 (Navy fuel) – Site 49 is
  located within a Russian Federation Navy Base near the city of
  Murmansk. Site 49 is the primary land-based storage facility for highly
  enriched uranium reactor fuel used by Northern Fleet submarines and
  icebreakers. The Russian Navy stores tens of metric tons of nuclear fuel
  at Site 49. DOE has funded security upgrades to the site including
  fencing, cameras, and sensors. DOE began work to improve the nuclear
  security systems at Site 49 in 1996 and completed work in 1999. During
  our visit we observed the DOE upgrades and spoke with site officials
  about nuclear material security.

• Technical Bureau of Autotransport Equipment (KB ATO) – KB
  ATO is an automotive production facility located in Moscow. KB ATO
  has contracts with DOE to install security upgrades for trucks and
  railcars used to transport weapons-usable nuclear material and to build
  shipping containers, called overpacks, for nuclear material in transit.
  During our visit, we observed examples of overpacks purchased by DOE
  for use by MINATOM and spoke with site officials about nuclear
  material security during transit.

• Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (CCP) – The CCP is a
  nuclear fuel fabrication facility located in central Russia. Among other
  upgrades, DOE funded the construction of a new central storage facility
  for the majority of weapons-usable nuclear material at the CCP. We met
  with officials from the site to discuss DOE’s security upgrades, but we
  were not allowed on site due to access problems with MINATOM.

• Mayak (formerly known as Chelyabinsk-65) – DOE has provided a
  variety of site security upgrades to the MINATOM nuclear weapons
  complex facility at Mayak, which is located in the closed city of Ozersk.
  We met with officials from the site to discuss DOE’s security upgrades,
  but we were not allowed access to the site because we were denied
  access by MINATOM.




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                        Sites in Russia That We Visited in July 2002




Nuclear Warhead Sites   We visited five nuclear warhead sites:

                        • CBC-A2 – CBC-A2 is a Russian Navy site where DOE has provided
                          security upgrades for the protection of nuclear warheads.

                        • CBC-A4 – CBC-A4 is a Russian Navy site where DOE has provided
                          security upgrades for the protection of nuclear warheads.

                        • Tver Railcar Building Works (Tver) – Tver is a contracting facility
                          where DOD provided upgrades to Russian railcars intended to transport
                          nuclear warheads and accompanying support troops. During our visit
                          we observed the factories where security enhancements were made to
                          railcars and accompanying troop railcars and spoke with site officials
                          about transportation security.

                        • Security Assessment and Training Center (SATC) – SATC was
                          constructed to enable a team of DOD & Ministry of Defense personnel to
                          test, select, and integrate a system needed to upgrade physical security
                          at Ministry of Defense’s nuclear weapons storage sites. SATC is located
                          in Sergiev Posad’ (approximately 50 miles northeast of Moscow). A
                          personnel reliability program (PRP) fixed laboratory and a central
                          location for guard force training systems are located at SATC as well.
                          During our visit we observed examples of DOD-funded upgrades that
                          were undergoing testing, saw the central laboratory for the PRP testing,
                          and spoke with site officials about the role of SATC in nuclear weapons
                          security.

                        • Fissile Material Storage Facility (FMSF) – When completed, the
                          FMSF, near the MINATOM weapons complex facility of Mayak, will
                          store nuclear material from dismantled Russian nuclear warheads.
                          When we visited the FMSF, construction was still under way. We toured
                          the entire site and had discussions with U.S. and Russian contractors
                          involved in the ongoing work.



Biological Pathogens    We visited four biological pathogen sites:

Sites                   • State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology (Vector) –
                          Vector, in the Novosibirsk region, is a former biological weapons facility
                          involved in scientific research on virology, molecular biology, and
                          genetic engineering. A collection of viral pathogens that includes a



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                   Sites in Russia That We Visited in July 2002




                      collection of smallpox strains is maintained at this center. Vector is one
                      of the world’s two declared sites of stored smallpox. DOD has funded
                      extensive physical security upgrades to the facility. During our visit, we
                      observed the DOD-funded security upgrades and spoke with site
                      officials about the security of biological pathogens.

                   • The State Research Center for Applied Microbiology (Obolensk)
                     – Obolensk, in the Moscow region, is a former biological weapons
                     facility involved in scientific research in areas that include molecular
                     biology, gene engineering, and biotechnology. Obolensk maintains a
                     large collection of pathogens that includes genetically engineered
                     anthrax. DOD has funded extensive physical security upgrades to the
                     facility. During our visit, we observed the DOD-funded security upgrades
                     and spoke with site officials about the security of biological pathogens.

                   • The All-Russian Institute of Phytopathology in Golitsino
                     (Golitsino) – Golitsino, in the Moscow region, is a former biological
                     weapons facility involved in the study of dangerous plant diseases of
                     agricultural crops that have potential for significant economic impact.
                     At the time of our visit, DOD had installed no security upgrades at
                     Golitsino, but it plans to in the future. During our visit, we observed the
                     existing security conditions of the site, saw examples of the pathogen
                     collection, and spoke with site officials about the security of biological
                     pathogens.

                   • Pokrov Biologics Plant (Pokrov) – Pokrov, in the Vladimir region, is
                     a former biological weapons facility involved in the production of
                     veterinary vaccines and diagnostic preparations and retains a collection
                     of dangerous pathogens. In Soviet times, Pokrov had been used a
                     production site for smallpox weapons. At the time of our visit, DOD
                     had installed no security upgrades at Pokrov, but it plans to do so in the
                     future. During our visit, we observed the existing security conditions of
                     the site, saw examples of the pathogen collection, and spoke with site
                     officials about the security of biological pathogens.



Chemical Weapons   We visited two chemical weapons sites:

Sites              • Shchuch’ye Chemical Weapons Storage Site (Shchuch’ye) – Russia
                     stores nearly 2 million artillery shells filled with nerve agent chemical
                     weapons at Shchuch’ye. DOD has provided some security upgrades to
                     individual buildings and is currently installing upgrades to the perimeter



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   of the site. During our visit we observed the installed DOD upgrades to
   individual buildings; saw the existing entry control points and
   perimeter; and spoke with site officials about the planned upgrades and
   existing security concerns.

• Kizner Chemical Weapons Storage Site (Kizner) – Russia stores
  nearly 2 million artillery shells filled with nerve agent chemical weapons
  at Kizner. DOD has provided some security upgrades to individual
  buildings and is currently installing upgrades to the perimeter of the site.
  During our visit, we observed the installed DOD upgrades to individual
  buildings; saw the existing entry control points and central alarm
  station; and spoke with site officials about the planned upgrades and
  existing security concerns.




Page 69                                        GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix II

Other Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear
Material Security Assistance                                                                    Appendx
                                                                                                      Ii




                 In addition to improving physical security at nuclear material storage sites,
                 DOE’s threat reduction strategy for nuclear material security in Russia
                 includes several other efforts. These efforts include transportation security
                 enhancements, assistance to guard forces that protect nuclear material
                 facilities, and a system to monitor the operations of security upgrades after
                 they are installed.



Transportation   In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, DOE
                 increased funding for its efforts to secure nuclear material during transit.
Security         By providing upgraded security for transport and guard railcars,
                 specialized secure trucks and escort vehicles, and secure containers --
                 called overpacks -- DOE seeks to improve the security of nuclear material
                 transported within and between nuclear facilities in Russia. Through fiscal
                 year 2002, DOE has obligated more than $57 million to improve
                 transportation security over nuclear material in Russia. During our visit to
                 Russia in July 2002, we were shown examples of the types of overpacks
                 purchased by DOE for use in transporting nuclear material in Russia. An
                 example of these overpacks can be seen in figure 11.




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                    Other Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear
                    Material Security Assistance




                    Figure 11: DOE-Funded Overpack Used to Protect Nuclear Material During Transit




                    DOE has accelerated this program because MINATOM has provided DOE
                    sufficient access to confirm the need for and use of transportation security
                    enhancements. According to DOE officials, because such verification can
                    take place outside of nuclear weapons complex sites, DOE has not had the
                    same access issues as in its building security enhancement program.



Protective Forces   Many of the new contracts between DOE and MINATOM signed since
                    September 2001, have been for protective forces assistance at nuclear
Assistance          weapons complex facilities. As of September 2002, DOE had obligated over
                    $9 million to provide a variety of equipment for use by the forces that
                    protect sites that store weapons-usable nuclear material. This equipment
                    includes such items as bulletproof vests, helmets, response vehicles, and
                    cold-weather uniforms. The objective of the DOE’s protective forces
                    assistance is to ensure that a sufficient number of organized, equipped, and
                    trained protective force personnel are present to provide balanced
                    protection against all external threats to Russian nuclear materials. Similar
                    to DOE’s transportation security assistance, funding for protective forces



                    Page 71                                    GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
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                        Other Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear
                        Material Security Assistance




                        assistance has increased since September 2001, according to DOE officials.
                        DOE has provided the bulk of its new protective forces assistance to
                        nuclear weapons complex facilities.



Material Protection,    In February 2001, we recommended that DOE develop a system, in
                        cooperation with the Russian government, to monitor, on a long-term basis,
Control, and            the security systems installed at the Russian sites to ensure that they
Accounting Operations   continue to detect, delay, and respond to attempts to steal nuclear
                        material.1 In response to our recommendation, DOE developed the MOM
Monitoring System       System. DOE tentatively planned to install MOM systems at 50 sites by the
                        end of fiscal year 2002. However, by the end of fiscal year 2002, DOE
                        officials told us that only two MOM systems were installed at two civilian
                        academic institutes that store nuclear material. According to DOE, the
                        Russian government supports the MOM system, yet MINATOM has delayed
                        the implementation of the MOM system at all sites it controls for nearly 2
                        years. In a letter from MINATOM, dated September 13, 2002, a senior
                        MINATOM official agreed with the principle of the MOM system, but did
                        not grant DOE permission to begin installation at MINATOM facilities.

                        The MOM systems use off-the-shelf equipment to allow Russian and U.S.
                        officials to ensure that nuclear warheads and material are secure; MPC&A
                        systems are properly staffed and that personnel are vigilant; and key
                        security procedures are enforced. Through the end of fiscal year 2002, DOE
                        had obligated nearly $14 million for the MOM program. During our visit to
                        MEPhI in July 2002, we observed the MOM system in operation. Figure 12
                        shows a MOM camera in operation at MEPhI.




                        1
                         U.S. General Accounting Office, Nuclear Nonproliferation: Security of Russia’s Nuclear
                        Material Improving; Further Enhancements Needed, GAO-01-312 (Washington, D.C.: Feb.
                        2001).




                        Page 72                                         GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix II
Other Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear
Material Security Assistance




Figure 12: DOE-Funded Camera Monitors Nuclear Processing Lab at MEPhI




Page 73                                    GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix III

Other Department of Defense (DOD) Nuclear
Warhead Security Assistance                                                                     Appendx
                                                                                                      iI




                 In addition to improving security at nuclear warhead storage sites, DOD’s
                 threat reduction strategy for nuclear warhead security in Russia includes
                 several other efforts. The efforts include transportation security
                 enhancements, a computerized warhead inventory system, a facility to
                 store nuclear material from dismantled warheads, and equipment to test
                 guard forces for drug and alcohol abuse.



Transportation   DOD is providing assistance to improve the security of nuclear warheads
                 during transportation by rail to consolidation and dismantlement sites.
Security         According to DOD officials, security experts consider warheads to be
                 highly vulnerable to theft during transport. DOD has addressed this threat
                 by providing security enhancements for railcars, hardened shipping
                 containers for nuclear warheads to protect against small arms fire and
                 other threats, and payment of railway tariffs associated with transporting
                 the warheads to the consolidation and dismantlement sites.

                 DOD provided 150 shipping containers to Russia to provide for the safe and
                 secure storage of nuclear weapons during transportation by rail to
                 dismantlement and consolidation sites. Warheads are locked inside these
                 containers, preventing direct access to weapons during transport and
                 providing accident and theft protection. DOD also provided security and
                 safety enhancements for 100 nuclear weapon cargo railcars and 15 guard
                 cars that accompany the cargo cars. For each railcar, DOD paid to install
                 tampering and intrusion detection sensors, fire detection, and thermal
                 insulation. DOD continues to pay for the maintenance of these railcars. The
                 Russian Ministry of Defense has also requested new railcars because the
                 condition of those that it is currently using is deteriorating to the point
                 where they can no longer be used. DOD has not yet agreed to this request,
                 partly because it is concerned that the new railcars may enhance Russia’s
                 operational capability for transporting deployed nuclear warheads.

                 Since January 2002, DOD has also funded 153 rail shipments to warhead
                 dismantlement and consolidation sites. DOD estimates these shipments
                 moved two to three thousand warheads. During shipping, the Russian
                 Ministry of Defense uses the DOD-provided shipping containers that
                 protect against theft. DOD pays for the shipping costs, specifically a tax
                 charged by Russia’s Ministry of Railways for every train that moves across
                 its tracks, because the Ministry of Defense says it does not have sufficient
                 funding to pay for the shipping. DOD justified paying this tariff because it
                 supports the objective of shipping nuclear warheads to consolidation and
                 dismantlement sites.



                 Page 74                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                           Appendix III
                           Other Department of Defense (DOD) Nuclear
                           Warhead Security Assistance




Nuclear Warhead            DOD is also providing a computerized accounting and inventory system for
                           tracking nuclear warheads scheduled for dismantlement. According to
Inventory System           DOD officials, without such a system, the Russian Ministry of Defense
                           would not have a centralized capability to track the warheads, which raised
                           concerns about the potential loss or theft of a nuclear warhead.

                           In 1995, to address these concerns, DOD and the Russian Ministry of
                           Defense began work on nuclear warhead inventory management system
                           connected to a network of 19 sites throughout Russia. DOD has obligated
                           $45 million on the system but has not yet completed it, and computers that
                           DOD bought for the system are sitting in warehouses. The project has
                           suffered from numerous delays on the part of the Russians, and DOD
                           currently estimates that the project will be completed in 2005. Additionally,
                           the purpose and scope of the project has changed from the original plan in
                           1995 to track all of Russia’s nuclear weapons. In 2001, the Russian Ministry
                           of Defense (MOD) significantly limited the scope to nuclear warheads that
                           it plans to dismantle and excluded warheads that are part of its operational
                           nuclear arsenal from the system. Finally, the MOD has not granted DOD
                           access to the sites where the computers will be located, which has
                           hindered DOD’s efforts to develop the system and will limit DOD’s ability to
                           verify how the MOD uses the system.



Fissile Material Storage   DOD is paying to construct a facility in Russia—the Fissile Material Storage
                           Facility (FMSF)—to safely and securely store nuclear material removed
Facility                   from dismantled nuclear warheads. DOD agreed to finance the design and
                           construction of this facility for MINATOM because Russia told the U.S. it
                           did not have adequate secure storage capacity for the nuclear material from
                           dismantled warheads. To support Russia in its dismantlement efforts, DOD
                           agreed in 1992 to pay for the design of a secure facility for the nuclear
                           material and, in 1993, to help build the facility.

                           As of October 2002, DOD had obligated $349 million to design and build
                           this facility, and DOD estimates that the facility is about 90 percent
                           complete. However, the project has fallen behind schedule, in part because
                           Russia began placing significant access limitations on U.S. officials and
                           contractors in May 2002—4 months before the facility was to be completed.
                           In particular, Russia began restricting the number of U.S. personnel who
                           can visit the region where the facility is located—only 10 Americans
                           associated with the project can be in the entire region at one time. This
                           restriction has delayed completion by forcing construction and security



                           Page 75                                     GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
              Appendix III
              Other Department of Defense (DOD) Nuclear
              Warhead Security Assistance




              engineers, who are involved in every phase of construction, to postpone
              necessary trips to the facility. As a result, DOD currently estimates that it
              will complete construction of the facility in December 2003 and that Russia
              will begin loading the facility in January 2004.

              In April 1999, we reported that DOD lacks clear assurance that Russia will
              use the facility to store weapons-grade plutonium solely from dismantled
              warheads.1 Specifically, we reported that DOD would not be able to
              confirm that the plutonium was removed from dismantled warheads
              without an agreement with Russia on measures to confirm the origin of
              material in the facility. DOD has still not reached such an agreement with
              Russia, and consequently faces the same limitation with regard to the
              facility.



Guard Force   DOD’s strategy also addresses the reliability and effectiveness of the guard
              forces that protect the nuclear warhead storage sites. To improve the
Assistance    reliability of guard forces and personnel who have direct or indirect access
              to nuclear warheads, DOD has provided the Ministry of Defense with drug-
              and alcohol-testing devices, laboratory facilities to test samples for drug
              abuse, and polygraphs. According to DOD officials, the Russian Ministry of
              Defense has been using the equipment and has taken seriously the need to
              improve reliability among its guards and personnel. To improve the
              effectiveness of the guard forces in responding to intruders, DOD is also
              providing shooting ranges and other training simulators for using small
              arms.




              1
               See U.S. General Accounting Office, Weapons of Mass Destruction: Efforts to Reduce
              Russian Arsenals May Cost More, Achieve Less Than Planned, GAO/NSIAD-99-76,
              (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 13, 1999).




              Page 76                                         GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix IV

Comments from the Department of Defense                          Appendx
                                                                       iIV




              Page 77       GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix IV
Comments from the Department of Defense




Page 78                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix IV
Comments from the Department of Defense




Page 79                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix V

Comments from the Department of Energy                                       Append
                                                                                  x
                                                                                  i
                                                                                  V




Note: GAO comments
supplementing those in
the report text appear
at the end of this
appendix.




See comment 1.




On March 26, 2003, DOE
provided additional
comments. Click here to see
comments.




                              Page 80   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                  Appendix V
                  Comments from the Department of Energy




See comment 2.




See comment 3.




See comment 3a.


See comment 3b.




                  Page 81                                  GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                  Appendix V
                  Comments from the Department of Energy




See comment 3c.




See comment 4.




See comment 5.




                  Page 82                                  GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                 Appendix V
                 Comments from the Department of Energy




See comment 6.




See comment 7.




See comment 8.




                 Page 83                                  GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                  Appendix V
                  Comments from the Department of Energy




See comment 9.




See comment 10.




                  Page 84                                  GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                  Appendix V
                  Comments from the Department of Energy




See comment 11.




See comment 12.




                  Page 85                                  GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                  Appendix V
                  Comments from the Department of Energy




See comment 13.




See comment 14.




                  Page 86                                  GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
                  Appendix V
                  Comments from the Department of Energy




See comment 15.




See comment 16.




                  Page 87                                  GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix V
Comments from the Department of Energy




Page 88                                  GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
               Appendix V
               Comments from the Department of Energy




               The following are GAO’s comments on the Department of Energy’s (DOE)
               letter dated March 6, 2003.



GAO Comments   1. DOE’s comment that Russia has more than 600 metric tons of weapons-
                  usable nuclear material contradicts DOE’s strategic plan and recent
                  statements made by the Acting Administrator of the National Nuclear
                  Security Administration in testimony before the House Armed Services
                  Committee. The DOE July 2001 Strategic Plan for the Material
                  Protection Control and Accounting (MPC&A) program estimates that
                  Russia has about 600 metric tons of weapons-usable nuclear material.
                  In an April 2002 briefing to GAO, DOE officials stated that the
                  Department currently estimates that Russia has about 600 metric tons
                  of weapons-usable nuclear material. On March 4, 2003, DOE’s Acting
                  Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration testified
                  before the House Armed Services Committee that there is
                  approximately 600 metric tons of weapons-usable nuclear material in
                  Russia. The Department has consistently used 600 metric tons as the
                  benchmark for measuring program progress.

               2. GAO changed the footnote on p. 24 in the text to reflect this comment.

               3. DOE disagreed with our statement that work in the weapons complex
                  has slowed. For evidence, DOE cited an increase in the number of
                  contracts signed and additional progress at weapons complex sites
                  known as Tomsk 7, C-70, and A-16. However, the number of contracts
                  signed is not a valid measure of progress, and DOE has made little
                  progress at the three sites as discussed below.

                   3a. The number of contracts signed is a poor measure of program
                   progress because (1) contracts are frequently for small amounts of
                   money, and (2) contracts can finance work for purposes other than
                   improving security at buildings. During 2002, 20 of the 39 contracts
                   DOE signed for work at multiple buildings in the weapons complex
                   were under $20,000. The 24 contracts DOE has signed in the first two
                   quarters of 2003 average less than $200,000 each. In contrast, upgrading
                   security at a building can cost over a million dollars. Some of DOE’s
                   contracts were not for the purpose of improving security at buildings
                   with nuclear material. These include a “no-cost” change to another
                   contract, a $14,000 contract to pay one of the sites to manage other
                   DOE contracts, and several contracts to pay Russian sites to develop
                   access procedures that would allow DOE officials to visit those sites.



               Page 89                                  GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix V
Comments from the Department of Energy




    More important, since DOE began the MPC&A program, it has tracked
    program progress based on the number of buildings and amount of
    material protected not by the number of contracts signed. This is
    documented in DOE’s Strategic Plan, MPC&A program guidelines, and
    DOE’s July 2000 MPC&A cost and schedule estimate. Therefore, we
    used DOE’s own benchmarks to assess progress made securing
    buildings and protecting weapons-usable nuclear material.

    3b. DOE claimed that its progress at Tomsk 7 Chemical Metallurgical
    Plant has been unusually fast. However, DOE has been working with
    Russian site managers since 1994 and, under current plans, will not
    complete its planned work there until 2007. After 30 months of
    negotiation, DOE signed two contracts to develop designs for upgrades
    at two buildings. However, the contracts only fund design work. DOE
    must negotiate and sign a separate contract to begin installing the
    security upgrades.

    3c. DOE stated that its plans to develop central storage facilities at C-70
    and A-16 are examples of significant progress. However, DOE’s
    progress at C-70 has been minimal. Since 1999, DOE has signed three
    design contracts for the C-70 facility. The third contract merely
    replaced the previous two, which were outdated or incomplete. In
    addition, as of March 2003, DOE had not signed a design contract for
    the A-16 facility.

4. As we discuss above, the number of contracts signed is a poor measure
   of program progress. The majority of contracts DOE signed for work at
   weapons complex sites in fiscal years 2002 and 2003 were for security
   enhancements such as rapid upgrades. However, most of these
   contracts are for work at buildings where DOE already has access or
   represent planned work where DOE signed contracts without getting
   access to the buildings.

5. DOE disagreed with the statement in our draft report that
   transportation security and guard force enhancement do not directly
   advance the primary goals of its program. We have clarified our report
   in response to DOE’s comments. We modified figure 4 to specifically
   identify spending on guard forces and transportation security. Despite
   this modification, figure 4 still clearly shows that DOE’s spending
   priorities have shifted from securing buildings to providing other
   assistance.




Page 90                                    GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix V
Comments from the Department of Energy




6. Operation and maintenance efforts take place at locations where
   security improvements have already been installed. While these efforts
   may help maintain or improve the level of security U.S. equipment
   provides, they do not increase the amount of material or number of
   buildings DOE has helped to protect. However, DOE’s funding of
   operation and maintenance costs raises a more fundamental question
   about the long-term goals of this program. When DOE began its
   program, it focused on funding capital improvements and anticipated
   that Russia would fund the operations and maintenance of the
   equipment DOE installed. However, DOE continues to pay for
   operations and maintenance costs, and it is unclear if and when Russia
   will be able to pay for these costs.

7. DOE’s Material Consolidation and Conversion (MCC) program helps
   Russia consolidate weapons-usable nuclear material into a smaller
   number of buildings or sites. The program also supports the conversion
   of this material into a form that cannot be used for weapons. We
   included this program in our calculations because it is an integral part
   of the MPC&A program. In addition, DOE program officials stated on
   several occasions that MCC is an important component of its overall
   effort to help secure weapons-usable nuclear material. As such, it
   should be included in a chart showing funding patterns for DOE
   programs securing weapons-usable nuclear material.

8. DOE’s warhead security program is a separate activity with a clearly
   discrete budget. The main objective of the warhead program is to help
   protect nuclear warheads, not loose weapons-usable nuclear material.
   As such, it would not be accurate to include spending for this program
   in figure 4. Including spending for warhead security efforts in figure 4
   would obscure DOE’s spending patterns for nuclear material security.

9. DOE’s lower figure for the number of buildings with weapons-usable
   nuclear material excludes central alarm stations, one of the critical
   components of the site security systems they plan to install. We
   included central alarm stations in our analysis because DOE included
   them on its list of buildings that require security upgrades. Our analysis
   did not include buildings such as training facilities that are outside the
   scope of DOE’s efforts, as DOE suggested in its comments. To arrive at
   the figures in our report, we used DOE data that shows the Russian
   buildings that it helped to secure or plans to secure. We then
   supplemented this analysis with in-depth meetings with DOE program
   staff who helped clarify and update the information on program



Page 91                                   GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix V
Comments from the Department of Energy




    progress in DOE’s program files. To clarify our presentation of this
    information, we have modified the title of figure 3 to reflect that our
    analysis included central alarm stations.

10. Our data differ from DOE’s because DOE did not include 39 central
    alarm stations in its analysis. Central alarm stations represent a critical
    element of a comprehensive security system because it is at these
    locations that guards monitor the alarms and video systems that
    protect buildings containing nuclear materials.

11. We have revised the report to reflect DOE’s comments and have
    included additional information about recently declassified U.S.
    interagency policy guidance. This new guidance generally prohibits
    U.S. security assistance to operational Russian nuclear warhead sites.

12. DOE does not foresee a coordination problem with DOD in their joint
    efforts to secure the same Russian warhead sites. As both departments
    have plans to secure sites under the jurisdiction of the Russian
    Strategic Rocket Forces, a joint plan to coordinate these efforts is
    reasonable and prudent. DOD concurred with this important
    recommendation.

13. We have changed the text in the table to read “Sites that support
    deployed nuclear weapons.”

14. We agree that DOE has declined to help secure some Russian Navy
    sites. However, as DOE officials stated on several occasions, the
    program is based on Russian requests for assistance, not DOE’s
    independent analysis of the location and security conditions at all
    Russian Navy warhead sites.

15. In response to DOE’s comments, we have changed our report to remove
    references to equipment incompatibility. Instead, we note that program
    operations and maintenance costs could increase if DOD and DOE use
    several different vendors to purchase nonstandard pieces of similar
    equipment. As a result, we believe DOD and DOE need to work closely
    together to standardize equipment where possible.

16. DOE’s characterization of the importance of the September 2001 access
    agreement with Russia has changed. In February 2001, DOE stated that
    this agreement would provide DOE officials with greater access to
    sensitive Russian sites and allow DOE to expand its work. In April 2002,



Page 92                                    GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix V
Comments from the Department of Energy




    DOE officials described the agreement as comprehensive and thorough
    and claimed the agreement would allow DOE to gain access to new
    buildings in the weapons complex and accelerate program
    implementation. In its comments on our report, DOE now characterizes
    this agreement as only intended to maintain access to Russian buildings
    where it had already been granted.




Page 93                                  GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix VI

GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments                                                         Appendx
                                                                                                     iVI




GAO Contacts      F. James Shafer (202) 512-6002
                  David Maurer (202) 512-9627



Staff             In addition, Gene Aloise, R. Stockton Butler, Joseph Cook, Lynn Cothern,
                  Maria Oliver, and Daniele Schiffman made significant contributions to this
Acknowledgments   report.




(320103)          Page 94                                 GAO-03-482 Weapons of Mass Destruction
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