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Classification

PREVENTING THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Since the advent of the nuclear age, the United States has been dedicated to preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  In order to stop the spread of nuclear weapons-related technology, Congress gave the Atomic Energy Commission (now the Department of Energy [DOE]), authority to control nuclear weapons-related information.  This task has gained even greater importance in recent years with an increasing number of nations seeking to gain nuclear weapons or improve existing capabilities, and the growing potential for nuclear terrorism. The United States must ensure adversaries cannot obtain the information, technology, or materials that will assist them to carry out attacks. While it is important to have adequate protection systems in place, the first step to ensure our success in preventing such attacks is identifying what must be protected

PROTECTING NUCLEAR WEAPONS RELATED INFORMATION

DOE has the unique responsibility of identifying nuclear weapons-related information that must be protected in order to prevent adversaries from developing weapons of mass destruction. The Department develops and issues Government-wide and Department-wide policies and technical guidance to ensure that classified and other information assets critical to national security and to other Governmental, commercial or private interests are identified for proper protection.

BALANCING NATIONAL SECURITY WITH OPENESS

DOE promotes the release of information assets to the maximum extent possible consistent at all times with our paramount concern for the security of our nation.  Programs are established to review historical records scheduled for declassification, documents requested under statute or Executive Order, documents requested in response to litigation, and documents requested by Congress and other groups. These reviews are performed to serve both the public interest, by declassifying information that can safely be released, and to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, by ensuring that no appropriately classified or controlled information is inadvertently released, under the requirements of the Atomic Energy Act, Executive Order 13526, and Public Law 105-261.