This report documents a review of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program's classification policy. Recent changes in the world geopolitical and economic conditions over the past several years led to a decision to perform a comprehensive review of the Program's classification policy. This review coincides with a similar Fundamental Classification review being performed by the Department of Energy.
Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program technology is among the most sensitive and valuable military technologies currently in use in the United States. Nuclear powered vessels comprise about 40 percent of the U.S. Navy's combatant fleet, including the entire sea-based strategic nuclear deterrent. All submarines and over half of the Navy's aircraft carriers are nuclear powered. This nuclear technology measurably contributes to the United States ability to defend its interests worldwide. The proliferation of this technology and the resultant development of nuclear powered submarines and surface combatants in other countries could result in destabilizing geopolitical conditions, to the detriment of world stability and U.S. interests.
While most of this technology is sensitive, the public has an interest in Environment, Safety, and Health information. In addition, basic research can be useful to U.S. industry. The challenge in dealing with classification of Naval nuclear propulsion is to properly balance the need to provide information to the public while protecting sensitive military technology.
This report includes identification of the large number of unclassified public documents that have been prepared and released by the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. In particular, extensive Environmental, Safety and Health information generated by the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program is unclassified and released to the public. The Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program publishes comprehensive reports of this information to ensure the public is fully informed in these areas. A significant number of technical articles and papers on basic research, as well as numerous patents, have also been released as unclassified documents. This report also identifies the importance of the technology being protected and the basis for its classification.
This review was conducted to ensure that each specific item being classified is justified in accordance with current policy. It also ensured that the policy guidance precludes classification of information which should be made available to the public. This review was performed in two steps. The first step was an independent review by an experienced, technically knowledgeable committee of senior personnel from the Knolls and Bettis Atomic Power Laboratories. The underlying approach taken was that all information is unclassified unless protection is justified. The basis for classifying information was identified in four specific classification criteria. Each topic of the current classification policy guide was reviewed against that criteria.
The laboratories issued their report in July 1995. The results of the item-by-item review of the classification guide (which includes over 600 individual topics, the large majority of which are technical in nature) identified a limited number of topics which were recommended for consideration to be declassified. These topics would add to over 250 topics already identified as unclassified. Overall, the review committee considered that the classification of all but a few of the technical topics in the program guide remained valid.
The second step of the review included an independent classification review by technical personnel at Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program Headquarters. These individuals are responsible for both policy and the day-to-day technical aspects of operating over 130 nuclear reactors in over 100 nuclear powered warships. This review identified a number of additional topics for consideration for declassification. After an additional review of all recommendations by senior Headquarters managers, the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program Director made the final determination.
This classification review was conducted in parallel with the DOE Fundamental Classification Review. There has been a continuing dialog with the Military Reactor Working Group, including their review of the report, to ensure that a consistent approach was taken in both reviews.
This report does not include the specific recommendations for declassification since these recommendations must be protected as sensitive information until separate action is taken on their declassification. The items can be characterized as follows: two items dealing with ship design and performance, two items dealing with reactor core design, three items dealing with Materials and Metallurgy, three items dealing with Chemistry, three items dealing with Primary Plant design, three items dealing with Secondary Plant Design, two items dealing with Prototypes and three items dealing with Reactor servicing.
The first nuclear-powered submarine, the Nautilus began operation in 1954. With its introduction into the fleet, Naval warfare would never again be the same. While commercial nuclear reactors are operated by many countries, the ability to apply nuclear propulsion to a ship is a difficult task which very few countries have been able to accomplish. Over the years, U.S. technology has improved to the point where ships will be put to sea with a reactor which will last the life of the ship and operate quieter and more effective than any ships ever built. These achievements provide significant military advantage to the U.S. in carrying out its international obligations. The proliferation of this technology would have serious adverse consequences to U.S. interests and the balance of power in world affairs.
However, there is some information associated with nuclear powered warships which belongs in the public domain. This includes fundamental scientific information which is not unique to the application of nuclear power to a warship and which would be of value to U.S. industry. In addition, there is a need to release information which is related to public health and safety, the environment and occupational radiation exposure. The balancing of the need to protect sensitive technology and still keep the public properly informed is a task which requires careful review and a detailed understanding of the significance of the technology involved.
Over the past several years there have been changes in the world geopolitical and economic conditions. These changes in turn reflect on the appropriate classification that should be applied to information in any complex technical military program. In June 1994, the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (NNPP) issued a revision to the Program's classification guide. While the updated document clarified guidance in a few areas and made the guide easier to use, it did not reflect a broader review of the basis for classification. It was therefore decided that a bottom-up classification review would be conducted. This review would be in parallel with Department of Energy's intent to do such a review in other areas.
The Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program is a joint Department of Energy/Department of Navy organization which is tasked with the responsibility to design, build, operate, maintain and manage the nuclear-powered warships and facilities which support the U.S. nuclear-powered Naval fleet. The Program utilizes the resources of both DOE and the Navy and the Director is assigned responsibilities in both agencies to provide for a fully integrated approach.
The classification guidance for the NNPP is also a joint agency instrument. The guidance is contained in one document: DOE-DOD Classification Guide for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. CG-RN-1. This document provides the sole basis for classification determinations for the program. Local classification guides are not issued. As is the case with technical aspects, the integration of classification issues is achieved through the direction and oversight of the joint headquarters program office.
Over the four-decade history of the NNPP, there has been an evolution in classification policy. This evolution reflects the increasing value of naval nuclear propulsion technology to the national defense, as well as changes in the technology itself. In the early years of the program, nuclear power was not very well known and its application to a warship was only attempted by a few technologically advanced countries. As time has passed, the importance of nuclear powered submarines and surface combatants to the naval component of our national defense has increased. For the United States, all submarines and more than half of the U.S. aircraft carriers are nuclear powered. Other countries also understand the advantages of application of nuclear power. However, given its complexity, only a few have been able to indigenously apply this technology to a warship. Because release of U.S. naval nuclear propulsion technology would directly assist a foreign country in obtaining the military advantages of nuclear power for their Navy, continuing protection is warranted and necessary.
Another factor to consider is that over the intervening years, the general knowledge level regarding nuclear technology has also increased throughout the world. As an example, the process of inexpensively creating industrial quantities of Zirconium was a significant technological achievement in its day. Today, that information is available throughout the world. Thus, if this information were initially protected, it would no longer be reasonable to protect the information today. Commercial equipment and practices have also been upgraded, so that what once were militarily developed items, and protected because of their uniqueness, no longer require the same level of protection. In addition, with the very limited industrial base remaining for nuclear propulsion equipment, it is advantageous to minimize the classified information at these facilities, given the adverse impacts on cost and efficiency which classification brings.
As identified above, the major challenge in dealing with classification in naval nuclear propulsion, is the balancing of the need to provide information to ensure there is a satisfactory public understanding of the performance of the program while protecting sensitive military technology in the industrial and worldwide operational environments of the Program.
In the 1950's, the NNPP's use of nuclear propulsion was the only non-research use of nuclear power. The knowledge and experience gained in the early days from the research by the Program was of value to the start of the commercial nuclear power program. This effort included development of the first civil nuclear-powered central power station (the Shippingport Atomic Power Station). It also included efforts to build and demonstrate that a light water reactor could produce more nuclear fuel than it consumed. This effort was conducted on an unclassified basis with thousands of unclassified reports issued.
Recently, there have been significant efforts to find and release information dealing with the past and current performance of government programs in environmental protection, occupational safety, public health and nuclear safety. The Program has been ahead of these recent developments. It was recognized early on that the Program's performance in these areas would be critical to the acceptance of U.S. nuclear-powered warships in ports at home and abroad.
Over 30 years ago, the Program began publishing reports which document its performance in protecting the environment. For activities at facilities operated by the Navy (i.e., Naval shipyards and operating bases), these reports provide a comprehensive picture of the Program's management of radiological work, including waste generation and disposal, control over releases of radioactivity, and environmental monitoring programs to identify any impacts to the environment in the vicinity of the Navy facilities. Independent sampling of the environment by the Environmental Protection Agency and various state and local governments confirm the absence of significant environmental impacts. For the facilities solely operated by the Program, annual reports address non-radiological matters in addition to radiological topics. These reports are widely disseminated to Federal, State and local officials and are also routinely made available to the public at large.
In a similar manner, the Program makes available to the public the annual reports on the overall radiation exposure of military and civilian personnel working in Naval nuclear propulsion. The Program has consistently limited personnel radiation exposures to levels that are more stringent than those in the civilian nuclear power industry or in other government nuclear programs. As a consequence, radiation exposure to the public and personnel in the program has always been very low, much lower than the limits established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Department of Energy (DOE) or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for other activities involving radiological work.
Within the constraints of protecting individual privacy (i.e., the Privacy Act), the Program has made occupational radiation exposure data available to independent researchers for epidemiological studies of the effects of low level radiation exposure on human health. This includes a comprehensive study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of 25,000 Portsmouth Naval Shipyard workers engaged in Naval nuclear repair work, a broader study by the Johns Hopkins University of 71,000 shipyard workers at all eight Naval nuclear-capable public and private shipyards, a comparable study by Yale University of 76,000 military personnel assigned to nuclear-powered submarines, and the ongoing NIOSH study of 15,000 nuclear workers at the Naval Reactors Facility, located at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. These independent research organizations have been or are being provided personal, medical, and radiation exposure information for each worker. Each of the studies completed to date has concluded that the low levels of radiation exposure received during the performance of Program work do not have a significant impact on the health of the individuals performing the work.
In addition to environmental, public health and safety, and radiation information, many technical documents have been released to the public. Through the Bettis and Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories, the Program has released over 7000 technical articles and papers to the public sector. In addition, 300 unclassified patents have been issued for inventions conceived at Program Laboratories: Patents owned by the government are available for use by the public without payment of royalties. Laboratory engineers and scientists routinely attend and participate in technical information exchange meetings and symposia sponsored by various technical or professional societies and other government agencies.
A significant category of technical information which has been released is related to the Shippingport Atomic Power Station. Information released includes the following: engineering drawings and documents for the Shippingport plant, specifications used for the plant (such as materials, quality inspection, and components), system descriptions, and operating instructions, and a series of safety-related analysis reports. In effect, the entire technology for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a nuclear power station was released. Additionally, a history of the plant and reports on operating experience were released to the general public. Similar information relating to the Light Water Breeder Reactor program was also released.
Another significant Program publication is the Chart of the Nuclides which is considered by the scientific and commercial communities to be a convenient primary source for information on the nuclear physics characteristics of the elements. The Chart was first developed back in the early days of the Program and has been revised 14 times over the years to expand its content and update its data. This demonstrates the concept of not classifying the basic physics or physical properties. The publication is heavily used by educational institutions and industry, with over 40,000 copies of the last edition requested and provided.
Also included in the release of information to the public have been twelve documents, commonly referred to as the Naval Reactors Handbooks, plus two periodical publications known as the Bettis Technical Review and Zirconium Highlights. Both of these publications were made available to the public, colleges and universities. The Bettis Technical Review, in particular, was used in some schools as special text books for advanced courses, covering subjects related to Reactor Engineering, Metallurgy, Physics and Mathematics, and Chemistry. A significant number of computer programs have also been released to the National Energy Software Center.
While NNPP information has been released to the public as discussed above, information which permits nuclear propulsion to be applied to warships must be protected. This information is identified as naval nuclear propulsion information and concerns the design, arrangement, development, manufacture, testing, operation, administration, training, maintenance and repair of the propulsion plants of Naval nuclear-powered warships and prototypes including the associated shipboard and shore-based nuclear support facilities.
Nuclear propulsion provides warships with unique capabilities. In the case of submarines, it provides virtually unlimited undersea endurance providing the first true submersible. With this capability, submarines have become platforms to project military force covertly into many regions of the world, giving the national command authority a way to influence regional instability without direct commitment of land or air forces. Nuclear power has also provided the nation's most invulnerable strategic force, lessening concerns over any nation's willingness to launch a first strike. Nuclear propulsion also significantly enhances the military capability of surface ships. Mobility and security of fuel supplies are among a fleet commander's greatest concerns. Nuclear propulsion overcomes these problems by providing virtually unlimited high-speed endurance without dependence on tankers and their escorts. Moreover, space normally required for propulsion fuel in oil-fired ships provides increased storage capacity for weapons and aircraft fuel in nuclear-powered ships.
The impact of this technology can be demonstrated by analyzing two recent military conflicts. In the Falkland Island War, nuclear power gave a British submarine the ability to transit the large distance to the war in a rapid manner and continue to operate undetected. The presence of this submarine paralyzed the entire Argentina Naval fleet. After a British nuclear submarine sunk the cruiser GENERAL BELGRANO, the Argentine Navy never deployed out of port to contribute to the war effort for fear of further loss of ships.
The second recent event is the Gulf War. During this war the U.S. had unchallenged use of the oceans. Over 85 percent of the war supplies were transported by ocean, halfway around the world. Accomplishing this required complete control of the sea. A few enemy nuclear-powered submarines could have significantly disrupted our supply lines. Nuclear-powered submarines with their covert capability provided platforms for launching cruise missile strikes without concern for detection prior to launch. The nuclear-powered aircraft carriers provided U.S. Commanders with platforms for aircraft strikes that could be located for sustained periods in areas of the Middle East not available by land. If Iraq had obtained access to nuclear propulsion technology and had developed nuclear-powered submarines, it would have significantly impacted the course of the war.
The application of nuclear power to warships is a complex undertaking. Only a few countries have attempted it, while many have expressed a desire to obtain the capability. To design a reactor and propulsion plant which can operate on a naval warship means it must operate with personnel in the immediate proximity of the reactor, it must continue to operate under battle conditions and it must be repairable at sea. In the case of submarines, the propulsion plant must be small; and for aircraft carriers, it must be able to undergo wide power transients to support aircraft operations. In both cases, the longer the life of the reactor core, the more these assets are available to the battle Commanders and less land-based support facilities are required. Equally important to effective use of nuclear propulsion are matters such as training, testing, providing effective oversight, logistics, and maintenance support, etc., elements that if not properly organized and executed, can render a nuclear program ineffective if not hazardous. These aspects are also of significant interest to a foreign country developing a nuclear powered Navy.
The previous paragraphs have identified how the desire to release unclassified information and the requirement to protect sensitive military information are sometimes in conflict. The resolution of this potential conflict is to separate to the extent feasible, the sensitive information which would aid a foreign country and release the rest of the information. Program classification guidance addresses this issue as follows:
Information concerning public health, safety and the environment is unclassified and releasable to the public. This information should be separated from both classified and Unclassified Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information whenever possible. There are some topics in this guide which identify that information which may appear related to public health and safety are protected from release. This is due to the potential for technically sensitive information to be included in these areas. Efforts will be made to separate this information and ensure unrestricted availability of information on public health, safety and the environment.
This is an established element of Program policy and it will continue to apply in the future. Where there is a justified need, the Program will continue to create unclassified reports which summarize in a releasable form classified information.
The authority to classify Naval nuclear propulsion information currently comes from two sources: (1) the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 which governs the classification of Restricted Data, and (2) the Presidential Executive Order which governs National Security Information. Information covered under the Atomic Energy Act is that information related to the use of special nuclear material. In the NNPP this is information associated with the production of energy in the nuclear core.
The Presidential Executive Order on classification requires protection of information in the interest of national defense or foreign relations of the United States. This information is designated National Security Information. The previous Executive Order on Classification (E.O. #12356) and the recently signed Executive Order (E.O.# 12958) both require protection of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information. The new Executive Order was signed on April 20, 1995 to be effective October 1995. This report provides background on both Executive Orders.
During the early development of atomic energy, Congress recognized that atomic energy's unique and tremendous potential (for both destruction and useful power) has a special significance to the defense and security of the nation. A unique category of classified information, Restricted Data, was therefore created so that special measures could be provided for the protection of atomic energy information and technology. The term "Restricted Data" means all data concerning the following:
A unique feature of all information falling within the boundaries of Restricted Data is that it is "born classified." Specific action must therefore be taken to declassify restricted Data. The Department of Energy has been assigned the authority to declassify any atomic energy data which can be published without undue risk to the common defense and security. In the case of the NNPP, such an action is coordinated and agreed to by the Department of Defense.
Executive Order's prescribes a uniform system for classifying, declassifying, and safeguarding national security. The Order's on National Security Information recognize that it is essential that the public be informed concerning the activities of its government, but that the interests of the United States and its citizens require that certain information concerning the national defense and foreign relations be protected against unauthorized disclosure. Information may not be classified under an Executive Order unless its disclosure reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security.
Information was classified as National Security Information under the old Executive Order 12356 if it concerns one of the following areas:
The newly signed Executive Order (12958) keeps all of these items but changes the order. Thus, naval nuclear propulsion information falling within the designated areas was classified under the old Executive Order and is also covered under the new Executive Order.
Unlike Restricted Data, specific action must be taken to classify National Security Information. The authority for classifying information as National Security Information is granted by the President to the Executive Branch on an agency basis. The Department of Energy and Department of Defense have been granted this authority for information under their jurisdictions. Unlike Restricted Data, National Security Information may be declassified by the same agency having primary responsibility in the particular area of interest.
There are situations where the compilation of unclassified information may reveal significant technical, programmatic, ship readiness, and other militarily sensitive information and thus warrant classification as a compilation (also called a mosaic). The compilation concept is identified in the recent Executive Order 12958 on Classification The Executive Order states, (in part):
Compilations of items of information which are individually unclassified may be classified if the compiled information reveals an additional association or relationship that:
- meets the standards for classification under this order; and
- is not otherwise revealed in the individual items of information.
The Executive Order and the Atomic Energy Act provide broad criteria for deciding what information warrants protection. However, to conduct a reasonable review of classification policy, these general criteria need to be focused. The following are the criteria used during the review to determine the specific information that requires to be classified:
U.S. nuclear-powered warships have access to over 150 ports in over 50 countries and dependencies worldwide. Foreign governments grant U.S. nuclear-powered warships access to foreign ports based on U.S. government guarantees. The U.S. does not release technical information concerning the nature of Naval nuclear propulsion to forage governments because of the need to protect sensitive military technology. Therefore, foreign governments rely on the NNPP's demonstrated public record of safe operations and management practices. The Navy's reputation for operation and maintaining nuclear-powered warships in a manner that poses no risk to the public or to the environment is central to U.S. nuclear-powered warship access to foreign ports. These same considerations are important to the continued acceptance by state and local governments, and the public, of U.S. Nuclear powered warship presence in domestic ports.
In contrast, it is widely known that the former Soviet Union naval nuclear propulsion program has had significant problems including reactor safety, personnel radiation exposure, environmental protection, and radioactive waste management. Because of their operating practices, nuclear-powered warships of the former Soviet Union have rarely been accepted in foreign ports. They lack access to many ports routinely visited by U.S. nuclear-powered warships and this in turn reduces the effectiveness of their fleet.
The review process included both the independent effort of two DOE Laboratories and the review by NNPP government personnel responsible for the operation of over 140 operating nuclear reactors. Both processes will be discussed.
The purpose of the laboratory review was to perform a bottom to top, detailed, classification review of each topic currently included in the Programs classification guide. The review was to be done without headquarters involvement and by experienced laboratory personnel who had a broad perspective on nuclear technology.
For this review, the DOE laboratory objectives were defined as follows:
The Knolls and Bettis Atomic Power Laboratories were requested to participate jointly in the classification policy review. Both laboratories initially performed independent reviews, followed by a reconciliation of the two laboratories' views, culminating in a final recommendation. This approach promoted the greatest breadth of opinion during the review and ensured that the classification decision on each topic was reviewed several times during the process. This review was conducted on a line item by line item basis, which amounted to an original classification review, without regard to whether or not the information was previously classified.
While each Laboratory handled its internal classification review slightly differently, the key aspects were similar. Under the guidance of a laboratory coordinator, each laboratory's lead review members were selected. The members selected were technically proficient individuals with an average experience level of over 25 years in the NNPP. The areas of cognizance included reactor design and analysis, thermal and hydraulic design, reactor technology, reactor materials and analysis, reactor plant component design, acoustic design, radiological controls, reactor protection, safeguards, propulsion plant design and analysis, shielding design and analysis, advance technology development, fleet support operations, computer information systems, prototype operations, and environment, health, and safety. These individuals were briefed by both Headquarters and the Office of Naval Intelligence concerning present world conditions relating to the value of NNPP information and technology. In addition, these individuals were briefed by an intelligence analyst as to what type information is useful to an adversary and particularly how a compilation of seemingly inconsequential information can be used by a knowledgeable individual to construct a very accurate picture of classified technology. These briefings described general world conditions under which the Program operates, and what general types of information are sought after, not what specific information should be classified. The objective was to broaden the laboratory reviewers' perspective in intelligence areas in which they normally receive little exposure.
The laboratories spent considerable time and discussion reviewing the classification criteria to be applied when determining classification. Because secrecy, even when in the national interest, appears contrary to a free and democratic society, it was mandatory that the review team understand and wholeheartedly concur with the basic criteria for classification. The unanimous conclusion reached was that the criteria identified in topic 1.4 are appropriate.
During the classification criteria review, the most extensive discussion focused on the fourth criterion, which protects information that could impair the ability of U.S. warships to function around the world, including foreign port entries. The technology used in our nuclear vessels cannot be divulged to foreign governments for their analysis of the vessel's safety without also contributing to that country's ability to use it toward developing an indigenous nuclear propulsion capability.
Once the classification criteria were set, each laboratory divided up the topics to be reviewed and assigned them to small groups of technical personnel. These review groups systematically evaluated their assigned topics against the classification criteria and concluded whether each should be classified. If it was concluded that the topic should be classified, the groups considered if the topic should be Restricted Data (RD) or National Security Information (NSI). A relationship to "the use of special nuclear material in the production of energy" makes the topic RD. If it was concluded that the topic was unclassified, no further evaluation was conducted. The groups were required to explain and justify each classification determination. They then compared their classification determination to the current classification of the topic. If there was a difference, the groups had to justify the change.
A consensus within the working groups was achieved in every case. The changes proposed by the topical review group were subsequently presented to a senior laboratory review group for concurrence. The topical review groups presented their recommended changes, and the laboratory oversight group critiqued the changes and discussed them until agreement to accept or reject was reached.
Following their respective independent internal reviews, both KAPL and Bettis laboratories exchanged review documents and reevaluated their collective changes during a series of lengthy video conferences. Again, a consensus was reached. This approach resulted in a fresh, independent look at topical classification.
The individuals involved in the review had full access to all materials and information necessary for their review. They were free to bring in any technical experts within their laboratory to provide information or judgment on a given topic. When asked, Headquarters and ONI provided additional information in support of the review in areas related to world conditions or other activities related to naval nuclear propulsion outside the normal purview of the laboratories. Due principally to the selection of technical experts with long service and extensive knowledge and experience, there were few questions which could not be addressed internally.
The classification policy review leading to this report was independently performed by the KAPL and Bettis Atomic Power Laboratories. The review was independent of outside influence. Headquarters was periodically apprised of the progress of the review and provided with preliminary findings. However, Headquarters made no commentary on the findings. Consequently, the opinions expressed in the classified laboratory report are solely those of KAPL and Bettis.
As previously staled, the purpose of the review by Program Headquarters was to perform a comprehensive classification review of each topic currently included in CG-RN-1, Rev. 2 DOE-DOD Classification Guide for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. The initial review was performed independent of the laboratory review and recommendations with final action taken only after reconciling any differences between the views at Headquarters and those of the laboratories.
The initial review at Headquarters was performed by senior technical personnel with many years of experience for their area of expertise. These individuals were requested to review current guidance and identify any areas they felt required changing. There were more items identified for potential declassification by this review than from the laboratories. Part of the reason for this is that headquarters personnel are more knowledgeable of activities within the Navy than the DOE laboratory personnel.
The results of this review were collated to ensure that all comments were included. This list of proposed Headquarters changes was then compared to the laboratories changes and the merits of each change debated by Division Directors at Headquarters until a consensus was reached on each item.
The results of this process were the basis for a recommendation to the Director, who made the final determination on revised classification. The resulting changes are now being coordinated within DOE and DOD for issuance.
As identified previously, the DOE has been conducting a Fundamental Classification review. The DOE effort provided the opportunity for public comment. The first opportunity was during the opening session (March 1995) of the review. NNPP personnel were present during this session to determine if there were any initial comments that were related to the NNPP. During this two-day event there were no issues raised on the classification of nuclear propulsion. During the review process, where there was an opportunity to send in comments, none were received on the NNPP. During the July 1995 public meeting in Oakland California, where both written and oral comments were received, there were no specific comments on classification in the NNPP. The comments at this meeting dealt with the following three general areas:
Item 3 is the only area which appears to potentially relate to the NNPP. While there were no specific question about the Naval nuclear propulsion program during this meeting, the program's approach to this area is fully discussed in section 1.2.1 of this report.
In a separate event, a July 10, 1995 memorandum from an office in DOE (NN-1) raised questions about whether the classification guidance and practices of the Naval Reactors program were consistent with guidance for other programs in the DOE. The memo discussed the following three items: environmental, health and safety information; information on foreign ports of call by U.S. surface ships; and a 1988 issue of compilation.
The programmatic release of environmental, health and safety information is addressed in section 1.2.1 of this report The classification of foreign ports of call comes from the Department of the Navy and is applicable to all surface ships in the fleet, not just nuclear-powered ships. It is included in the joint DOE-DOD guide to help the Naval fleet so they will not have to review additional classification guides. The third item deals with a question of compilation of information from a 1988 report. Compilation as a basis for classification is discussed in section 1.3.3 of this report. Thus, a specific review of the issues identified in the memo results in a finding that, where relevant, Program classification practices are consistent with those of the DOE and the Navy.
The reviews performed were intense, in-depth, and independent; the outcome was not predetermined. To ensure the necessary level of intelligent, considered review, over 1800 man-hours of senior technical personnel were expended in the process. The results of the review will make a modest addition to the 250 topics already listed as unclassified. It is noted that the majority of the topics in the guide are highly technical in nature and relate directly to the methods for design, operation, repair, and maintenance of naval nuclear propulsion plants. Continued classification of these technical topics is consistent with the latest Executive Branch criteria and current world conditions. The program's longstanding commitment to handle environmental, health and public safety information as unclassified was also reaffirmed by this review.
This report does not include the specific recommendations for declassification pending formal action to affect declassification. While the specific items can not be released at this time, they can be generally characterized. These items include; two items dealing with ship design and performance, two items dealing with reactor core design, three items dealing with Materials and Metallurgy, three items dealing with Chemistry, three items dealing with Primary Plant design, three items dealing with Secondary Plant Design, two items dealing with Prototypes and three items dealing with Reactor servicing. These changes are specific items where there has been a change in sensitivity due to passage of time. The basic sensitive concepts of naval nuclear propulsion continue to be protected.