U.S. Department of Energy ORDER
Washington, D.C. DOE O 452.1A
Issue Date: 1-17-97
Review Date: 1-17-99
SUBJECT: NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVE AND WEAPON SURETY PROGRAM
a. To establish requirements and responsibilities for the Department of Energy's
(DOE's) Nuclear Explosive and Weapon Surety (NEWS) Program.
b. To maintain a formal, comprehensive, and systematic DOE NEWS Program to
protect the public and worker health and safety and the environment while
supporting national defense requirements.
c. To establish nuclear explosive surety standards, nuclear weapon design surety
requirements, and appraisal requirements for the DOE NEWS Program.
d. To establish specific requirements for related elements of the DOE NEWS
Program as provided in the 452- and 5610-series Orders identified in paragraph
4a. Responses to unplanned events (e.g., Accident Response Group activities)
are addressed in the 5530-series Orders and DOE O 151.1, COMPREHENSIVE
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, dated
2. CANCELLATION. DOE O 452.1, NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVE AND WEAPON
SURETY PROGRAM, dated 04-29-96 is canceled. Cancellation of the above Order
does not, by itself, modify or otherwise affect any contractual obligation to comply
with the Order. Canceled Orders that are incorporated by reference in a contract shall
remain in effect until the contract is modified to delete the reference to the
requirements in the canceled Orders.
a. DOE Elements. This Order applies to DOE Headquarters and field elements
involved in the DOE NEWS Program.
b. Contractors. This Order applies to all contractors and subcontractors that
manage, oversee, or conduct the DOE NEWS Program as provided by law
and/or by contract as implemented by the appropriate contracting officer.
Responsibilities are delineated for contractors and Federal employees with the
Orders, referenced Rule, Technical Standards, and Implementation Guide.
Responsibilities are in sufficient detail such that an additional document, such as
a Contractor Requirement Document, would not be beneficial and may hamper
c. Exclusions. None.
a. Nuclear Explosive and Weapon Surety Orders. The DOE NEWS Program shall
be governed by this Order, relevant Orders from the DOE Safeguards and
Security Program (470- and 5630-series Orders), and the following DOE
(1) DOE O 452.2A, SAFETY OF NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVE
OPERATIONS, dated 1-17-97, which establishes DOE requirements and
responsibilities for ensuring the safe conduct of DOE nuclear explosive
operations. It addresses both nuclear explosive safety (NES) and
environment, safety, and health (ES&H).
(2) DOE 5610.12, PACKAGING AND OFFSITE TRANSPORTATION OF
NUCLEAR COMPONENTS, AND SPECIAL ASSEMBLIES
ASSOCIATED WITH THE NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVES, dated 7-26-94,
which establishes policy, objectives, responsibilities and authorities, and
requirements for the safe packaging and offsite transportation of nuclear
components and special assemblies associated with the nuclear weapon
program requiring the use of the Transportation Safeguards System
(3) DOE 5610.13, JOINT DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY/DEPARTMENT
OF DEFENSE NUCLEAR WEAPON SYSTEM SAFETY, SECURITY,
AND CONTROL ACTIVITIES, dated 10-10-90, which establishes DOE
policy, responsibilities and authorities, and requirements for addressing
joint nuclear weapon and nuclear weapon system safety issues in
conjunction with the Department of Defense (DoD). It covers DOE
participation in DoD Nuclear Weapon System Safety Groups, which
conduct safety studies of nuclear weapon systems operated by the DoD
and develop weapon system safety rules governing those operations.
(4) DOE 5610.14, TRANSPORTATION SAFEGUARDS SYSTEM
PROGRAM OPERATIONS, dated 5-12-93, which establishes DOE
policy, authorities and responsibilities, and requirements for the
management and operation of the TSS Program which includes
transportation of nuclear explosives.
b. Integrated Safety Management. The requirements in this Order may be
implemented using a DOE-approved integrated safety management approach as
described in DOE Policy P 450.4, SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
POLICY, dated 10-15-96. A "graded approach" to the requirements in this
Order is not permitted unless in the context of an approved integrated safety
c. Nuclear Explosive Surety Standards. All DOE nuclear explosive operations
shall meet the following qualitative surety standards to prevent unintended
nuclear detonation, fissile material dispersal from the pit, or loss of control.
There shall be positive measures to:
(1) minimize the possibility of accidents, inadvertent acts, or authorized
activities that could lead to fire, high-explosive deflagration, or
unintended high-explosive detonation;
(2) minimize the possibility of fire, high-explosive deflagration, or
high-explosive detonation, given accidents or inadvertent acts;
(3) minimize the possibility of deliberate unauthorized acts that could lead to
high-explosive deflagration or high-explosive detonation;
(4) ensure adequate security of nuclear explosives; and
(5) minimize the possibility of or delay unauthorized nuclear detonation.
d. Nuclear Explosive Safety. Safety Standards, paragraphs 4c(1), (2), and (3),
above, shall be met for all nuclear explosive operations conducted by the
Department and/or its contractors to ensure adequate nuclear explosive safety.
The adequacy of positive measures to meet these standards shall be evaluated by
the Nuclear Explosive Safety Study Group (NESSG). Additional requirements
are specified in DOE O 452.2A, SAFETY OF NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVE
OPERATIONS, dated 1-17-97.
e. Nuclear Explosive Security. The Security Standard, paragraph 4c(4), above,
shall be met to ensure adequate nuclear explosive security for all nuclear
explosive operations conducted by the Department and/or its contractors.
Nuclear explosives shall be secured in accordance with the requirements in the
5630-series Orders. These safeguards and security measures shall be
documented in the Site Safeguards and Security Plan. The adequacy of these
safeguards and security measures shall be assessed and documented in
Operations Office site security surveys and Office of Security Evaluations (EH-
21) inspections and evaluations. The NESSG shall include security operations
in its evaluation for potential adverse impact on nuclear explosive safety.
f. Nuclear Explosive Use Control. Use Control Standards, paragraphs 4c(3) and
(5), above, shall be met for all nuclear explosive operations conducted by the
Department and/or its contractors. Use control measures shall be evaluated by
the NESSG for potential adverse impact on nuclear explosive safety. The
Operations Office manager shall implement the use control policy as described
in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, Executive Order 2, National
Security Decision Directives 281 and 309, "An Agreement Between the AEC
and the DoD for the Development, Production, and Standardization of Atomic
Weapons," and "Memorandum of Understanding Between the DoD and the
DOE on Objectives and Responsibilities for Joint Nuclear Weapon Activities,"
and evaluate the effectiveness of use control measures.
g. Nuclear Test Detonation Safety. There shall be positive measures to minimize
the possibility for the initiation of the nuclear explosive test device detonator(s)
until detonation is authorized.
h. Nuclear Weapon Design Surety.
(1) Surety shall be an integral part of design and development of new
weapons and the modification of existing weapons. Explicit
consideration of surety shall begin at the concept definition phase and
continue throughout development and engineering.
(2) New nuclear weapon designs shall incorporate current surety features
unless there are overriding reasons for not doing so and explicitly
documented agreements to this effect are reached between the Secretaries
of Energy and Defense. The following shall be implemented in the
design of new nuclear weapons.
(a) Nuclear Detonation Safety. Nuclear weapons shall incorporate
design features that minimize the possibility of accidental and/or
inadvertent nuclear detonation. The following are design goals
for nuclear weapons delivered to the DoD.
1 Normal Environment. Prior to receipt of the enabling
stimuli and the arming signal, the probability of a
premature nuclear detonation shall not exceed one in a
billion (1E-09) per nuclear weapon lifetime.
2 Abnormal Environment. Prior to receipt of the enabling
stimuli, the probability of a premature nuclear detonation
shall not exceed one in a million (1E-06) per credible
nuclear weapon accident or exposure to abnormal
3 One-Point Safety. The probability of achieving a nuclear
yield greater than four pounds of trinitrotoluene (TNT)
equivalent in the event of a one-point initiation of the
weapon's high explosive shall not exceed one in a million
4 Multi-Point Safety. Multi-point initiation in abnormal
environments shall be evaluated as part of the design
(b) Fissile Material Dispersal Safety. Design features for reducing
the possibility of fissile material dispersal from the pit under
credible abnormal environments shall be incorporated for each
new nuclear weapon unless the responsible military service
requests and properly justifies an exception.
(c) Use Control. Use control features shall include design features
that allow timely authorized use of a nuclear weapon while
precluding or delaying unauthorized use.
(d) Inadvertent Criticality. The criticality safety of a nuclear weapon
shall be evaluated by the design agency to document the intrinsic
safety of the design in both normal and abnormal environments.
i. Nuclear Weapons Surveillance Program. The surveillance program contributes
to assessing the surety of weapons and components in the stockpile. The DOE
stockpile surveillance program involves routine periodic examination,
evaluation, and testing of stockpile weapons and weapon components to ensure
that they conform to performance specifications. It also identifies and evaluates
the effect of unexpected or age-related changes. While primarily a reliability
program, the stockpile surveillance program may identify safety related issues
of special concern to the DOE NEWS Program. The knowledge gained shall be
used as appropriate to improve nuclear weapon surety.
j. Authorization for a Nuclear Explosive Operation.
(1) Before a nuclear explosive operation can begin, the following
documentation shall be completed and approved.
(a) Facility Safety Analysis Report, approved by EH-1.
(b) Operation Hazard Analysis Report, approved by the responsible
Operations Office manager.
(c) Any required Technical Safety Requirements, approved by EH-1;
Operational Safety Controls, approved by the responsible
Operations Office manager; or Nuclear Explosive Safety Rules,
approved by DP-20.
(d) Nuclear explosive operation readiness review, approved by the
responsible Operations Office manager.
(e) Required facility readiness reviews, approved by the responsible
Operations Office manager.
(f) Nuclear Explosive Safety Study Report, approved by DP-20.
(g) Certification that all nuclear explosive surety standards are met
by the responsible Operations Office manager.
(2) Operations Office managers may issue letters authorizing nuclear
explosive operations. This authorization must document either the
satisfactory completion of each of the seven approvals identified in
paragraph 4j(1). Nuclear explosive operations may be undertaken only
when all such conditions are met.
k. Appraisals. Organizations that have DOE NEWS Program responsibilities shall
be periodically appraised as follows.
(1) The Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs (DP-1) shall schedule and
conduct appraisals of DOE Headquarters.
(2) The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Military Application and Stockpile
Management (DP-20) shall schedule and conduct appraisals of the
(3) Operations Offices shall schedule and conduct appraisals of the Area
Offices, laboratories, and contractors to determine compliance with
requirements in the 452- and 5610-series Orders and associated field
directives. Appraisals shall be conducted in accordance with a schedule
promulgated by the cognizant Operations Office manager and approved
by DP-20. The Albuquerque Operations Office shall appraise the
Transportation Safeguards Division. The appraisal team may include
(4) Operations Office appraisals of the safety of nuclear explosive operations
and associated activities and facilities (DOE O 452.2A) shall include
both nuclear explosive surety and ES&H elements, although not
necessarily in the same appraisal. The field organizations'
responsibilities in DOE G 414.1-1, IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE FOR
USE WITH THE INDEPENDENT AND MANAGEMENT
ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS OF DOE 5700.6C AND 10 CFR
PART 830.120 QUALITY ASSURANCE, dated 10-11-96, and the
requirements of DOE 5700.6C, QUALITY ASSURANCE, dated 8-21-
91, shall apply to ES&H appraisals with the following modifications.
(a) NES concerns, as described in DOE O 452.2A, shall be
integrated into the process used to assess the adequacy of the
implementation of ES&H requirements.
(b) NES personnel shall evaluate all corrective action plans on
nuclear explosive operations and associated activities and
facilities to ensure that proposed actions do not adversely affect
nuclear explosive safety.
(5) Nuclear explosive surety appraisals shall evaluate compliance with
applicable directives and requirements and assess the overall
effectiveness of the DOE NEWS Program. Nuclear explosive surety
appraisals shall be planned and conducted in accordance with ASME
NQA-1-1994, Quality Assurance Requirements for Nuclear Facility
Applications, "Basic Requirement 18, Audits," and "Supplement 18S-1,
Supplementary Requirements for Audits." Additional guidance is
provided in ASME NQA-1 Appendix 18A-1, "Nonmandatory Guidance
(6) The organization responsible for conducting appraisals shall develop a
training and qualification program for appraisal personnel.
l. Implementation Requirements. Within 12 months after this Order is issued,
Operations Offices shall develop an implementation plan to describe how the
requirements of this Order will be implemented. The implementation plan shall
be submitted to DP-20 for approval and shall include the following.
(1) Identify the programs, plans, practices, procedures, and other actions to
be used in complying with the requirements.
(2) Establish a schedule for actions necessary to achieve compliance.
(3) Identify needed resources.
(4) Identify those compensatory measures deemed necessary to provide for
adequate protection during the period of noncompliance.
a. Secretary of Energy (S-1).
(1) Is responsible for the surety of all nuclear explosive operations
conducted by the Department and/or its contractors.
(2) Exercises dual-agency responsibility with DoD for the surety of nuclear
weapons in DoD custody.
(3) Designates the DOE member to the Nuclear Weapons Council.
b. Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs (DP-1).
(1) Implements DOE policy for the DOE NEWS Program, including those
aspects of the program related to public and worker health and safety and
protection of the environment.
(2) Reviews and concurs or does not concur on DoD-proposed nuclear
weapon system safety rules.
(3) Coordinates with the Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety and
Health (EH-1) to ensure that appropriate ES&H requirements are
integrated with NEWS requirements and that divergence does not occur.
(4) Conducts appraisals of the DOE Headquarters Weapon Surety Program
to evaluate management of the DOE NEWS Program.
c. Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety and Health (EH-1).
(1) Provides assistance to DP-1 for ES&H disciplines.
(2) Coordinates with DP-1 on ES&H requirements to ensure that divergence
between ES&H and DOE NEWS programs does not occur.
(3) Provides safeguards and security inspection reports related to the DOE
NEWS Program through the Office of Security Evaluations (EH-21) to
DP-20, Office of Security Affairs, and the cognizant Operations Offices.
d. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Military Application and Stockpile Management
(1) Serves as the focal point for the Department's dual-agency responsibility
with the DoD for nuclear weapon surety.
(2) Develops DOE NEWS Program directives.
(3) Provides overall DOE NEWS Program management and direction
including implementing surety policy and developing surety directives.
(4) Ensures that there is an active and continuous review of the nuclear
stockpile to identify surety concerns and a program to provide for
stockpile improvements or positive measures to address identified
(5) Ensures that all surety actions related to nuclear weapons requiring a
DOE concurrence to the DoD are thoroughly analyzed from a surety
viewpoint by qualified experts.
(6) Conducts appraisals of Operations Offices to evaluate their
implementation of the DOE NEWS Program.
(7) Coordinates nuclear explosive safety, security, and use control policies
to ensure balance and consistency with the nuclear explosive surety
(8) Develops, implements, and maintains a DP-20 quality assurance (QA)
program and approves Operations Office QA program and
implementation plans that shall include nuclear explosive operations in
accordance with DOE 5700.6C.
e. Director, Office of Security Affairs (NN-50).
(1) Establishes safeguards and security directives for nuclear explosives,
nuclear components, and special nuclear assemblies.
(2) Advises DP-1 as to the adequacy of DOE and DOE contractor
safeguards and security programs.
f. Managers of Operations Offices are responsible to DP-20 to perform the
(1) Implement the provisions of this and related Orders.
(2) Ensure that DOE NEWS Program responsibilities, as appropriate, are
assigned to Operations Office organizations, laboratories, contractors,
(3) Ensure that management and staff have full access and free
communication with the Operations Office manager on NEWS matters.
(4) Develop and publish field directives to implement this and related
(5) Conduct operational aspects of the DOE NEWS Program for onsite
(6) Ensure surety of nuclear explosives during nuclear explosive operations.
(7) Develop, implement, and maintain an Operations Office QA program in
accordance with DOE 5700.6C, and approve contractor QA program
and implementation plans that shall include nuclear explosive operations
in accordance with the requirements of DOE O 452.2A.
(8) Conduct appraisals of Area Offices and contractors to evaluate
implementation of the DOE NEWS Program.
(9) Certify that all nuclear explosive surety standards are met.
g. Manager, Albuquerque Operations Office, in addition to the responsibilities in
paragraph 5f, above, is responsible to DP-20 to perform the following.
(1) Conduct operational aspects of the DOE NEWS Program for offsite
(2) Administer DOE's participation in the DoD nuclear weapon system
safety program and assist in the processing of DoD safety rules in
accordance with DOE 5610.13.
(3) Conduct NEWS appraisals of the Transportation Safeguards Division.
h. Manager, Nevada Operations Office, in addition to the responsibilities in
paragraph 5f, above, is responsible to DP-20 for conducting operational aspects
of the DOE NEWS Program and for the authorized detonation of test nuclear
i. Design Laboratories and Production Agencies provide support to the DOE
NEWS Program. This includes providing qualified personnel to support the
NESSG and similar activities.
a. DOE O 151.1, COMPREHENSIVE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
SYSTEM, dated 9-25-95.
b. DOE O 452.2A, SAFETY OF NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVE OPERATIONS, dated
c. DOE O 470.1, SAFEGUARDS AND SECURITY PROGRAM, dated 9-28-95.
d. DOE 5610.12, PACKAGING AND OFFSITE TRANSPORTATION OF
NUCLEAR COMPONENTS, AND SPECIAL ASSEMBLIES ASSOCIATED
WITH THE NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVES, dated 7-26-94.
e. DOE 5610.13, JOINT DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY/DEPARTMENT OF
DEFENSE NUCLEAR WEAPON SYSTEM SAFETY, SECURITY, AND
CONTROL ACTIVITIES, dated 10-10-90.
f. DOE 5610.14, TRANSPORTATION SAFEGUARDS SYSTEM PROGRAM
OPERATIONS, dated 5-12-93.
g. DOE 5630.12A, SAFEGUARDS AND SECURITY INSPECTION AND
ASSESSMENT PROGRAM, dated 6-23-92.
h. DOE 5700.6C, QUALITY ASSURANCE, dated 8-21-91.
i. DOE P 450.4, SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM POLICY, dated 10-15-96.
j. ASME NQA-1-1994, Quality Assurance Requirements for Nuclear Facility
Applications, dated 1994.
k. Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.
l. Executive Order 2.
m. National Security Decision Directive 281.
n. National Security Decision Directive 309, Safety, Security and Control.
o. "An Agreement Between the AEC and the DoD for the Development,
Production, and Standardization of Atomic Weapons," dated 3-21-53.
p. "Memorandum of Understanding Between the DoD and the DOE on Objectives
and Responsibilities for Joint Nuclear Weapon Activities," dated 1-17-83.
7. CONTACT. DP-20, Office of Weapons Surety (DP-21), 301-903-3463.
This attachment provides definitions pertinent to DOE O 452.1A.
1. Abnormal Environment. In DOE operations, abnormal environment means an
environment that is not expected to occur during nuclear explosive operations and
In DoD operations, abnormal environments are defined in a weapon's
stockpile-to-target-sequence and military characteristics as those environments in which
the weapon is not expected to retain full operational reliability.
2. Environment, Safety, and Health (ES&H). The application of risk reduction measures
to control or mitigate the possibility of exposing the public, workers, and environment
to hazardous materials or hazardous energy. This includes, for example, environmental
protection, nuclear safety, criticality safety, occupational safety, fire protection,
industrial hygiene, health physics, occupational medicine, industrial safety, and
radioactive and hazardous waste management.
3. Fissile Material Dispersal. The aerosolization and transport of fissile material by a
driving force, such as fire, high-explosive deflagration, or high-explosive detonation.
4. High-Explosive Deflagration. A rapid chemical reaction in which the output of heat is
sufficient for the reaction to proceed and accelerate without input of heat from another
source. Deflagration is a surface phenomenon, with the reaction products flowing
away from the unreacted material along the surface at subsonic velocity.
5. High-Explosive Detonation. A violent chemical reaction within a chemical compound
or mechanical mixture evolving heat and pressure. A detonation is a reaction that
proceeds through the reacted material toward the unreacted material at a supersonic
6. Normal Environment. In DOE operations, normal environment means the environment
in which nuclear explosive operations and associated activities are expected to be
In DoD operations, normal environment means the expected logistical and operational
environments as defined in a weapon's stockpile-to-target- sequence and military
characteristics that the weapon is required to survive without degradation in operational
7. Nuclear Detonation. An energy release through a nuclear process, during a period of
time on the order of one microsecond, in an amount equivalent to the energy released
by detonating four or more pounds of trinitrotoluene (TNT).
8. Nuclear Explosive. An assembly containing fissionable and/or fusionable materials and
main charge high-explosive parts or propellants capable of producing a nuclear
detonation (e.g., a nuclear weapon or test device).
9. Nuclear Explosive Area. An area that contains a nuclear explosive or collocated pit
and main charge high-explosive parts.
10. Nuclear Explosive and Weapon Surety (NEWS) Program. The DOE NEWS Program
was established to ensure adequate safety, security, and control of nuclear explosives
and nuclear weapons.
11 Nuclear Explosive Operation. Any activity involving a nuclear explosive, including
activities in which main charge high-explosive parts and pit are collocated.
12 Nuclear Explosive Operation-Associated Activities. Activities directly associated with
a specific nuclear explosive operation, such as work on a bomb nose or tail
subassembly, even when physically separated from the bomb's nuclear explosive
13 Nuclear Explosive Safety (NES). The application of positive measures to control or
mitigate the possibility of unintended or unauthorized nuclear detonation,
high-explosive detonation or deflagration, or fire in a nuclear explosive area.
14 Nuclear Explosive Safety Study. A formal evaluation of the adequacy of positive
measures to meet the DOE nuclear explosive Safety Standards.
15 Nuclear Weapon. A nuclear explosive configured for DoD use.
16 Nuclear Yield. The nuclear energy released in the detonation of a nuclear explosive,
measured in terms of the weight of TNT required to produce the same amount of
17. Pit (Live). A fissile component, or set of fissile components, designed to fit in the
central cavity of an implosion system and which if placed therein will create a nuclear
18 Positive Measures. Design features, safety rules, procedures, or other controls used
individually or collectively to provide nuclear explosive surety. Positive measures are
intended to ensure a safe response in applicable operations and be controllable. Some
examples of positive measures are strong-link switches; other safety devices;
administrative procedures and controls; general and specific nuclear explosive safety
rules; design control of electrical equipment and mechanical tooling; and physical,
electrical, and mechanical restraints incorporated in facilities and transport equipment.
19 Surety. Safety, security, and use control of nuclear explosives.
20. Use Control. The application of systems, devices, or procedures that allow timely
authorized use of a nuclear explosive while precluding or delaying unauthorized use