This document identifies information pertaining to the Plutonium-AVLIS (PAV) process and the Special Isotope Separation (SIS) Program that is Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information (UCNI) as defined in Section 148 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as amended, and provides guidance for determining if documents, materials, or facilities contain such UCNI.
Separate guidelines, issued by the Office of Uranium Enrichment, identify information pertaining to the Uranium-AVLIS process that is UCNI. There is a significant sharing of technology between Uranium-AVLIS and Plutonium-AVLIS. Where the technology for one process is usable in the other, or where there are common issues, the information controls (classification, UCNI, et al.) must be consistent. Information must be protected based on the significance of what is revealed about either process.
The guidelines contained in this document are the basis for the development of internal guidelines specifying what information pertaining to the issuing organization is UCNI.
DOE Order 5650.3, "Identification of Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information (UCNI)," establishes policies and procedures for identifying UCNI and for reviewing and marking documents and materials containing UCNI. The user of these guidelines must be familiar with DOE Order 5650.3 and must be particularly cognizant of the criteria and adverse effects test therein. In addition, users of these guidelines are reminded that DOE Order 5635.4, "Protection of Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information," provides directive guidance on policies and procedures for protecting information determined to be UCNI or documents or material marked as "May contain UCNI."
This document contains "Official Use Only" information and is not to be publicly released. However, should this document be requested for release under a statute (i.e., the Freedom of Information Act), the cover, pages i through 7, and 21 through 23, and the back cover may be released as reasonably segregable information.
A number of topics in this document relate to information that is addressed in classification guides and/or bulletins. Appropriate classification guidance (e.g., CG-AIS-1, CG-NP-2, CG-SS-2, and local classification guides) should be used to determine that the information being considered for control as UCNI is in fact unclassified.
Any document or material that has been, is, or will be widely and irretrievably disseminated into the public domain, as determined by a Reviewing Official, and whose dissemination into the public domain was not, is not, or will not be under control of the Government, is exempt from control under these guidelines even if the document or material contains information that a Controlling Official has determined to be UCNI. That same information in other documents or material can still be controlled and protected as UCNI.
All authorized DOE and DOE contractor UCNI Reviewing Officials are to base their UCNI determinations regarding documents or material pertaining to the Plutonium-AVLIS Process on this guide. Determinations regarding the Uranium-AVLIS process are to be based on separate guidelines under the cognizance of the DOE Office of Uranium Enrichment.
A Denying Official (see DOE Order 1700.1 for designation and specification of authority) with cognizance over information contained in documents or material pertaining to AVLIS shall deny a request made under a statute (e.g., the Freedom of Information Act) or Executive Order for any portion of the document or material that the Denying Official determines to contain UCNI. Such determinations regarding documents or materials pertaining to Plutonium-AVLIS and the SIS Program shall be based on these guidelines.
Persons other than Reviewing Officials and Denying Officials are to use this guide to make preliminary review determinations that documents or material pertaining to Plutonium-AVLIS Process may contain UCNI if that person:
Where unclassified information concerning Plutonium-AVLIS is believed to require protection as UCNI but the information is not clearly determined to be UCNI by topics in this guideline, the information should be protected as "may be UCNI" and referred through channels for a determination. Documents or material containing such information require marking as "may contain UCNI" in accordance with procedures in DOE 5650.3.
Any Reviewing Official may recommend to the Director, Office of Processing, new subject areas, new topics, or revisions to the UCNI topics in this guide. A determination by (1) the originator of a document or material, or (2) a person having cognizance over information in a document or material that a document or material may contain UCNI is one source for such recommendations. The Director, Office of Processing, shall review such recommendations and, if appropriate, initiate the formal process to revise this guide.
The PAV reference number in the parentheses following each topic is a unique guidelines identifier for that specific topic. The GG number in the parentheses is that of the topic in GG-2 which is the basis for the PAV guidelines topic. The following table, which will be maintained and expanded as additional topics are added, provides the PAV number and the topic number in this document to which it relates:
PAV Ref. No. Topic No. PAV Ref. No. Topic No. #1 1 #26 8.1.1 #2 3 #27 8.3 #3 3.1 #28 8.4 #4 3.2 #29 8.5 #5 3.3 #30 8.5.1 #6 3.4 #31 8.6 #7 3.5 #32 8.7 #8 3.6 #33 8.8 #9 3.7 #34 9 #10 4 #35 9.1 #11 4.1 #36 10 #12 4.3 #37 10.1 #13 188.8.131.52 #38 10.2 #14 4.4.3 #39 10.3 #15 5 #40 10.4 #16 5.2 #41 10.5 #17 5.3 #42 11 #18 5.4 #43 12 #19 6 #44 12.1 #20 6.1 #45 12.2 #21 7 #46 13 #22 7.1 #47 14 #23 7.4 #48 14.2 #24 8 #49 15 #25 8.1
The Plutonium-AVLIS Process has been developed for and is the principle part of the Special Isotope Separation (SIS) Program. Consistent with Section 148 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) of 1954, as amended, information about the SIS Program and the Plutonium-AVLIS Process is within the scope of the Production Facility Design Information category. Some of this information meets the Adverse Effect Test criteria.
The AVLIS process and technology have direct applicability to the separation of uranium, plutonium, and other isotopes usable in nuclear weapons. It may be possible to use the AVLIS process to enrich fissile fuel for defense purposes such as for submarine reactor fuel and it may be possible to use the AVLIS process to enrich other elements in isotopes having defense applications. AVLIS information therefore concerns atomic energy defense programs and must be reviewed to determine if protection as UCNI is required by the Atomic Energy Act.
The AVLIS process exploits the small differences in the energy levels of electrons in different isotopes in an atomic vapor. These energy-level differences cause the isotopes to absorb slightly different wavelengths of light. Laser light can be tuned to the precise wavelengths that are absorbed by only one isotope, causing that isotope to lose an electron and become ionized. The other isotopes do not absorb laser light at this wavelength and remain uncharged or neutral. The ionized isotope can then be separated from the neutral isotopes by an electric field. For plutonium-AVLIS, the laser light is tuned to ionize 238Pu, 240Pu, and 241Pu atoms and leave 239Pu atoms neutral. The 238Pu, 240Pu, and 241Pu atoms are then collected on negatively charged by-product extractors. The neutral 239Pu is unaffected by the electric field and is collected on product collectors. The condensed vapor can then be recovered separately from the by-product extractor and the product collector. The AVLIS process uses dye lasers to accomplish the atomic ionization of the atoms in the vapor. The dye lasers are frequency-tunable and generate the precise wavelengths required to ionize the 238Pu, 240Pu, and 241Pu. The dye lasers are pumped by electrically driven copper lasers.
The following types of unclassified information about the Plutonium-AVLIS Process and the SIS Program are UCNI:
For UCNI, a sensitive function is one that concerns atomic energy defense programs and whose disruption could reasonably be expected to have a significant adverse effect on the health and safety of the public or the common defense and security. The sensitive functions pertaining to Plutonium-AVLIS fall in the following two categories and information about these functions may be UCNI:
A sensitive facility is one in which a sensitive function is performed. For Plutonium-AVLIS, the sensitive facilities are those being used for experiments (R&D), process demonstration, and for the production of weapons grade plutonium; examples of those facilities are listed below. From time to time other facilities may be used for Plutonium-AVLIS experiments and process demonstration and may be designated sensitive facilities. Certain unclassified design or design-related operational information about these facilities, as described in Section F, may be UCNI.