May: Classified GAO report cites the need for an independent group to assess the adequacy of safeguards for nuclear material, and to assure the health and safety of the public from nuclear operations. In response to this and to DOE Inspector General reports, the Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs establishes an independent, inter-agency group to report to him on the adequacy of safeguards at weapons labs. The group finds that safeguards at sensitive facilities are not effective, while DOE’s Office of Safeguards and Security was giving these facilities passing grades.
August: James R. Schlesinger becomes Secretary of Energy.
January 1: U.S. normalizes relationship with China.
August: DOE Secretary Schlesinger leaves office. Charles W. Duncan Jr. becomes new DOE Secretary.
September 21: GAO produces “DOE’s Erroneous Declassification of Nuclear Weapons Design Document."
October 16: China conducts last atmospheric nuclear test.
August 20: GAO, in classified report, strongly recommends the reinstitution of a high-level group independently reporting to the Under Secretary on the state of safeguards at DOE.
November: DOE Secretary Edwards leaves office. Donald Paul Hodel appointed new Secretary of Energy.
July 8: President notifies Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Energy of his interest in strengthening the White House role in monitoring and overseeing programs concerning the security of U.S. nuclear weapons facilities. The Secretaries are instructed to provide quarterly status reports on security improvement programs, and any reports required by Congress, to the NSC.
May: DOE establishes Central Training Academy to provide courses for protective force personnel in “tactical response, hostage negotiations, crisis management, and protective force supervisory skills.” DOE designates Office of Safeguards and Security (OSS) as the single focal point for safeguards and security matters in DOE (residing in Defense Programs). The Office of Security and Quality Assessments is created, also reporting directly to the Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs.
July 2: In the Annual Report on Domestic Safeguards for 1983, DOE states that despite “improvements and initiatives” to the physical security program, “significant protection problems remain at many DOE facilities." DOE believes that the potential threat currently posed by the insider is serious and requires the institution of additional controls and personnel reliability features at our facilities."
June: DOE annual report to the President for 1984 states “Notwithstanding the progress that has been made [regarding major physical security construction projects], protection problems remain at a number of our nuclear facilities."
August: DCI plans to meet with Secretary of Energy to discuss controls on foreign nationals’ access to the U.S. national laboratories.
September 13: DOE draft position paper on foreign visitor controls states it is clear that DOE has a “problem with foreign visitors and the control/regulation of them."
January 28: Representative John Dingell, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sends letter to President Reagan regarding security vulnerabilities at the weapons laboratories. Rep. Dingell highlights additional management problems at DOE and the labs, and a lack of confidence in the inspection and evaluation function at DOE.
May 1: GAO produces report, “DOE Has Insufficient Control Over Nuclear Technology Exports."
May: DOE’s Inspector General reports a defective background investigative process at DOE.
June: DOE’s Office of Security Evaluations finds several personnel security process errors at three DOE facilities.
August 17: GAO produces report, “Nuclear Nonproliferation: Department of Energy Needs Tighter Controls over Reprocessing Information."
December 29: GAO produces report, “DOE Needs a More Accurate and Efficient Security Clearance Program."
April 4: Minutes from a counterintelligence staff meeting, chaired by FBI Director, include an observation that “a significant problem we have had is that there were no real controls or focal points for tracking scientific visitors to China. Another problem was that academicians were rather naïve in their understanding of Chinese intentions, and it became very important to ensure that they were given a defensive CI briefing."
June: DOE’s annual report to the President for 1987 comments, “As stated last year, DOE continues to be concerned about the potential threats posed by an insider, a knowledgeable and trusted individual who has been granted access to classified information or sensitive facilities. The threat posed by insiders is potentially more difficult to address than that of outsiders."
June 27: President signs and issues National Security Decision Directive 309, “Nuclear Weapons Safety, Security, and Control," tasking DOE and DOD to “determine the adequacy and effectiveness of physical security measures and coordinate their efforts including exchange of technical and operating data." DOE shall prepare an Annual Report on Nuclear Weapons Domestic Safeguards and Security ... that shall describe the current state of protection of all DOE domestic nuclear weapons facilities." The President further directs that he should be briefed on these reports annually.
October 1 1988 - August 8, 1989: FBI assigns official to DOE to evaluate CI program and to provide advice to DOE. FBI official found DOE management above the Counterintelligence Division inaccessible “which prevented him from securing the approval for the direct communication of urgently needed guidance to the field for the implementation of a vibrant counterintelligence program."
October 11: At a meeting, a DOE official briefs on the diverse nature of the security problems and the physical measures taken at the various Energy facilities which differ both technically and geographically. The official expresses the opinion that Energy had done “essentially all that can be done against the outsider threat."
October 11: GAO produces report, “Nuclear Nonproliferation: Major Weaknesses in Foreign Visitor Controls at Weapons Laboratories."
November: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) staff briefed on DOE’s counterintelligence activities.
November 9: GAO produces report, “DOE Actions to Improve the Personnel Clearance Program."
December 12: Army CI officer provides a briefing to the interagency counterintelligence group on a GAO audit, “U.S. and Foreign Participation in R&D at Federal Laboratories." The GAO investigation concludes that most laboratories do not perceive the foreign presence as a problem.
March: James D. Watkins becomes new Secretary of Energy.
May: Secretary of Energy delays the annual security report to the President because he personally wants to assure himself of the adequacy of security measures.
June: GAO produces report, “Nuclear Nonproliferation: Better Controls Needed over Weapons-Related Information and Technology."
April: DOE provides “1989 Annual Report to the President on Safeguards and Security." The report states that “ensuring proper and cost-effective protection of DOE domestic nuclear weapons facilities is, and will continue to be, one of the highest priority efforts in the Department." Concurrently, the Department will continue to pursue courses of action to mitigate the “insider threat," optimize its internal oversight function related to protection of weapon facilities, and ensure a reasonable and proper balance between safety, environmental, and safeguards and security responsibilities."
April: GAO produces report, “Nuclear Security: DOE Oversight of Livermore’s Property Management System is Inadequate." (The Annual Report to the President in 1991 refers, in part, to this report, stating that “it has been determined that the primary cause of the document control problem was the number of document control systems which operated independently at the laboratory.")
April 6: DOE Secretary Watkins removes intelligence function from Office of Defense Programs (DP) and creates Office of Intelligence (IN) as a separate departmental element.
May 13: DOE issues supplemental policy guidance on protection against the potential insider threat.
June: Interagency working group prepares a study of specific threats to U.S. Government facilities from visiting foreign nationals; finds several DOE CI deficiencies.
June: DCI plans to meet with the Secretary of Energy to discuss concerns about the general lack of counterintelligence awareness at DOE facilities around the country, and the slow progress toward improving DOE’s CI programs.
October: GAO produces report, “Nuclear Safety: Potential Security Weaknesses at Los Alamos and Other DOE Facilities."
March 21: GAO produces report, “Nuclear Nonproliferation: DOE Needs Better Controls to Identify Contractors Having Foreign Interests."
May 16: GAO produces report, “Nuclear Security: Property Control Problems at DOE’s Livermore Laboratory Continue."
June 1: DOE provides 1990 Annual Report to the President which states, in part, that “significant improvements must be made immediately in safeguards and security areas involving planning and management, personnel security, and the accounting for classified parts."
July 5: GAO produces report, “DOE Original Classification Authority Has Been Improperly Delegated."
July 8: Report from Energy Secretary Watkins on Safeguards and Security at DOE Nuclear Weapons Facilities highlights previous security problems at DOE and efforts to fix the deficiencies. It also notes that the report is not on the safety of nuclear weapons but rather on the safeguarding of classified information and materials.
December 13: GAO produces report, “Nuclear Security: Safeguards and Security Weaknesses at DOE’s Weapons Facilities."
June: GAO produces report, “Nuclear Security: Weak Internal Controls Hamper Oversight of DOE’s Security Problem."
October 30: GAO produces report, “Nuclear Security: Safeguards and Security Planning at DOE Facilities Incomplete."
October: DOE Order on counterintelligence issued.
October 7: DOE and FBI formalize relationship for conduct of CI activities in Memorandum of Understanding. MOU’s purpose is to “define procedures that are mutually acceptable to the FBI and DOE regarding the conduct and coordination of counterintelligence activities and investigations involving DOE programs, facilities, or personnel in the United States."
November: DOE’s Office of Security Evaluations’ report for FY 1992 to the Secretary states, “Management and oversight problems ... continue to be the root cause of many other deficiencies noted in Security Evaluation inspections during FY 92;" and the “Department’s Protection of Information programs suffer from lack of adequate guidance and a fragmented approach for protecting information."... “As noted in the past two reports, problems in management and oversight represent the most significant weakness in the Department’s safeguards and security program." ... “Security systems continue to be plagued with potential single point failures and inadequate life cycle planning."
November 16: GAO produces report, “Nuclear Security: Improving Correction of Security Deficiencies at DOE’s Weapons Facilities."
February: The Annual Report to the Secretary on Safeguards and Security for 1992 finds that “less than satisfactory ratings in the area of classified matter protection and control stem in large part from the need for site management to assume responsibility for completion of self-assessments and provide training for document control." Another security program “has suffered from a lack of management focus and inconsistent procedural execution throughout the DOE complex. The result is that personnel are seldom held responsible for their disregard, either intentional or unintentional, of security requirements."
April: In the Annual Report to the President for 1992, DOE states that there is “an extensive reorganization of the laboratory safeguards and security organization underway to more effectively and efficiently administer the laboratory program."
May 10: GAO produces report, “Efforts by DOD & DOE to Eliminate Duplicative Background Investigations."
August 12: GAO produces report, “DOE’s Progress on Reducing Its Security Clearance Workload."
March: FBI detailees to DOE are recalled to FBI “to address internal FBI needs," because of “lack of control of the CI program by DOE Headquarters [which] resulted in futile attempts to better manage the issue of foreign visitors at the laboratories."
April: The DOE Safeguards and Security Annual Report to the President for 1994 states that DOE’s “safeguards and security community has begun to aggressively respond to the Secretary’s goal of openness and public access to government information while recognizing the need to provide appropriate and effective security policy and procedures."
June: Intelligence report states Chinese visitors to U.S. are attempting to acquire U.S. technology through the recruitment of experts.
February: DOE Office of Counterintelligence subordinated to Office of Intelligence.
July: DOE senior officials discuss possibility that China may have classified U.S. nuclear design information with CIA, FBI and White House senior officials in several meetings this summer.
Summer: Analytical working group meets on China’s nuclear weapons program and possible access to U.S. information. Group concludes that China has obtained classified U.S. information but disagrees on impact.
August 3: GAO produces report, “Poor Management of Nuclear Material Tracking Capabilities Makes Success Unlikely."
January 23-27: China Arms Control Exchange (lab-to-lab) Workshops: CTBT Verification and Monitoring Technologies, and Nuclear Materials, Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A), in Beijing.
March: DOE Deputy Secretary initiates study of foreign visits and assignments to labs.
March 25-29: China Arms Control Exchange (lab-to-lab) Workshop: Cooperative Monitoring Technologies, in Albuquerque.
April 13: DOE briefs Deputy National Security Advisor and senior NSC and CIA officials on “China’s Nuclear Weapons Programs: Strategic Directions and Foreign Contributions."
May: DOE Administrative Inquiry is completed.
June 17-20: China Arms Control Exchange (lab-to-lab) Workshop: Atmospheric Sciences (#1), in Livermore, CA.
September: The 1995 Annual Report to the President (not forwarded to the White House until March 1997) is issued. Citing declining resources, DOE states that “many program elements have been reduced to minimally effective levels," and without “adequate investment, [and] senior level management support ... the nation’s special nuclear material stockpile could be placed at increased risk and our international leadership in nuclear nonproliferation will be diluted." Increased use of computer systems for handling classified and sensitive unclassified information “increases the potential and probability for ‘hacking’ and for covert collection of information from unprotected or lightly protected systems." Simply stated, “Classified and sensitive unclassified information related to special nuclear materials and weapons production is increasingly at risk."
October: DOE Office of Counterintelligence expanded; CIA CI expert designated to run office.
October: Intelligence reports cite several foreign countries are actively seeking U.S. nuclear information.
October 16: DOE’s Office of Intelligence forwards a plan to better detect espionage through training and awareness briefings.
November 21: DOE Deputy Secretary meets with lab directors and heads of DOE field offices to review foreign visitors and CI programs. DOE HQ, field offices, and labs directed to begin implementing new measures to strengthen foreign visitor and CI programs. Labs tasked to produce threat self-assessment.
March 12: Federico Pena confirmed as Secretary of Energy.
April 4: FBI issues report (in response to the FY97 Intelligence Authorization Act) to the Community Management Staff for transmittal to Congress and DOE. Report addresses: CI program oversight, foreign visits and assignments, CI analysis, professional training/CI awareness, and investigations.
April 7: FBI Director Freeh meets with Secretary of Energy Pena to deliver the April 4, 1997 report.
April 28: DOE Office of Intelligence organizes a Counterintelligence Senior Advisory Group to provide recommendations for DOE’s CI problems.
June 19-29: China Arms Control Exchange (lab-to-lab) Workshop: Atmospheric Sciences (#2), in Beijing.
July 14: Briefing on possible espionage provided to Secretary of Energy with options for remedies.
July 29: DOE briefs National Security Council staff on “China’s Strategic Nuclear Modernization Program: DOE Nuclear Weapons Laboratory Contributions to Chinese Strategic Breakthroughs."
August 6-8: China Arms Control Exchange (lab-to-lab) Workshop: Control of Nuclear Technologies, in Beijing.
August 12: At the conclusion of a DOE briefing on China’s possible possession of U.S. warhead design information, FBI Director recommends that “DOE quickly and ‘furiously’ develop a plan to stop erosion of 20 years."
September 2: NACIPB/NACOB reports that the “working group has recognized that systemic and serious CI and security problems at DOE have been well documented over at least a ten year period. Information received from CI and security professionals at DOE indicate that few of the recommendations in the past studies have been implemented."
September 25: GAO produces report, “Department of Energy: DOE Needs to Improve Controls Over Foreign Visitors to Weapons Laboratories."
October 15: DCI and FBI Director meet with Secretary of Energy and Deputy Secretary to discuss CI problems and reforms. Participants agree to develop action plan that will serve as basis for Presidential Decision Directive (PDD), acknowledging that reform from within DOE is difficult.
November 6: Letter to Secretary of Energy from DCI and FBI Director states “the culture and structure at DOE have consistently prevented meaningful reforms which could begin to counter the foreign intelligence threat to sensitive weapons programs and dual use technology."
November 6: DOE’s Office of Security Affairs submits “Report on the Status of the Department of Energy’s Safeguards and Security Program, October 1997" to the Secretary. The cover letter states, “in all candor, we have been hampered in meeting [safeguards and security] obligations by organizational obstacles and competing internal interests." The report contends that “by far, the most pressing issue is the Department’s current unsatisfactory method for managing its safeguards and security program. Simply put, the current method does not work as intended."
March: U.S. Nuclear Command and Control System (NCCS) Support Staff (NSS) produces assessment report on DOE Nuclear Weapons Related Security Oversight Process. The report finds that DOE’s ability to “exercise comprehensive oversight, provide critical expert advice and status assessment to senior management, and identify corrective actions and monitor their implementation is problematic due to three significant issues: 1) a lack of nuclear physical security expertise at all levels of the oversight process; 2) ad hoc structuring of Safeguards and Security functions throughout the Department; and 3) placement of oversight functions in positions which constrain their effectiveness.” DOE’s initial response to the above list of findings was “without references to specific examples in the body of the report, these issues cannot be validated."
March: DCI and FBI Director meet with DOE lab directors to discuss the importance of the new initiatives.
April 6-May 15: DOE CI Director begins PDD-61-mandated 90-day study with team visits to eight DOE operations offices and nine national laboratories.
June 30: Secretary Pena resigns.
July 1: Acting Secretary receives 90-day report.
July: Joint Technology Demonstration (lab-to-lab Exchange), Nuclear Materials Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A), in Beijing.
August 18: Secretary Richardson sworn in.
October 6: GAO produces report, “Problems in DOE’s Foreign Visitor Program Persist."
November: Per PDD-61, report published on the foreign collection threat to DOE, stating that DOE is being aggressively targeted for nuclear, sensitive, proprietary, and unclassified information.
November: During an internal inspection of a lab, DOE finds that the “underlying cause of these security breaches has been personnel who lack adequate security awareness and training, and who do not demonstrate an attitude conducive to effective security."
November 13: Secretary Richardson submits CI Action Plan to NSC. December 9: Secretary Richardson meets with lab CI directors, and HQ CI and Intelligence staff to discuss implementation plan.
January 3: U.S. House of Representatives publishes “Final Report of the Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China" (classified version).
January 25-30: Joint Technology Demonstration (lab-to-lab Exchange), Nuclear Materials Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A), in Beijing.
February 3: DOE’s CI Implementation Plan completed and delivered to Secretary Richardson.
February 19: GAO produces report, “Concerns with DOE Efforts to Reduce the Risks Posed by Russia’s Unemployed Weapons Scientists."
March: DOE forwards the “annual" safeguards and security report from the past two years to the President, citing that there is “concern that attitudes regarding the protection of critical information are moving toward a less-attentive state of awareness."
March 4: DOE Counterintelligence implementation plan (per PDD-61) issued to labs.
April 6: DOE temporarily shuts down all classified computers at LANL, LLNL, and SNL for security review.
May 11: Secretary Richardson announces new security organization at DOE, under the responsibility of a “security czar."
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