FAS Note: This Energy Department report to Congress, released in redacted form in July 2003, is the tenth in a series. See the previous report here.

DOE/SO-70-0010 (Deleted Version)

Tenth Report on Inadvertent Releases of Restricted Data and
Formerly Restricted Data under Executive Order 12958
(Deleted Version)(U)

Report to:

The Committee on Armed Services of the Senate
The Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives
The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Classified and Controlled Information Review
Germantown, Maryland 20874

February 2003


The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999 (Public Law (P.L.) 105-261) requires that the Secretary of Energy notify the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate, the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives, and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs of inadvertent releases of Restricted Data (RD) or Formerly Restricted Data (FRD) associated with records declassified under section 3.4 of Executive Order 12958.

As a result of the Department of Energy's (DOE's) examination of approximately 860,000 additional pages of publicly available records accessioned by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Department discovered an additional 90 documents containing 261 pages of RD and FRD which were inadvertently released:

The identified documents are in collections belonging to the Department of State (including the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency), the Department of Defense (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Joint Staff), and the Central Intelligence Agency. The documents were inadvertently declassified and made available to the public during the years from 1995 to 1998 by the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and NARA.

No classified documents of the DOE or its predecessor organizations were found.

The documents contained RD and FRD information, including:

A significant portion of the documents (73 of the 90) were improperly marked for classification level (e.g., Secret), classification category (e.g., RD), and/or automatic classification level downgrading. The improper markings occurred when the documents were originated, or at a later time during the lifetime of the documents. The improper marking of the documents for classification level, classification category and/or downgrading may have contributed to the inadvertent releases of the documents.

NARA, the Department of State, Central Intelligence Agency, and the Department of Defense have been advised the specific documents contain RD and FRD. The 90 documents have been withdrawn from public access and protected in accordance with DOE requirements.

The inadvertently released nuclear weapons design information (RD) detailed in this report concerns the early generations of nuclear weapons that this country developed in the 1950s and 1960s. Potential adversaries, emerging proliferant nations and terrorist groups aggressively target U.S. nuclear weapon information. Information regarding older nuclear weapons is of significant value since it is often technically less sophisticated. These designs would be most readily used by a would-be nuclear proliferant to obtain its first nuclear weapon.

The inadvertently released nuclear weapons utilization information (FRD) detailed in this report could assist potential adversaries in assessing the strengths of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Additionally, inadvertently released information on deployments of nuclear weapons outside of the U.S. may violate international agreements and harm diplomatic ties with foreign host nations.

The inadvertently released naval nuclear propulsion information (also RD) addressed in this report could assist adversaries in the development of nuclear propulsion systems for their submarines and surface ships.

DOE will be conducting an assessment of the damage to national security resulting from the inadvertent release of RD and FRD addressed in this report.

In accordance with P.L. 105-261, DOE has trained 1,916 individuals from other agencies to recognize RD and FRD information. This includes 196 individuals from the Department of State, 73 from the Department of Navy, 26 from the Department of Defense Joint Staff and 137 from NARA. Additionally, 181 individuals have attended refresher courses.

The training of other agency reviewers has significantly reduced the errors made in declassifying documents. During this quarter, DOE quality control sampling of 1,255,440 newly declassified pages, we found three documents containing RD/FRD that had been declassified in error. (This can be compared to ninety (90) documents found in 860,000 pages for this report.) The documents are saved from inadvertent release and protected in accordance with DOE requirements. The department that performed the incorrect declassification has been informed of the error.

DOE and NARA are working to better integrate their efforts to more quickly identify and safeguard documents potentially containing RD and FRD. All records that may contain RD and FRD are removed from public access.

Details of the specific inadvertent releases are contained in the attached classified appendix.