GAO Report 09-321: Nuclear Security

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nuclear Security: Better Oversight Needed to Ensure That Security Improvements at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Are Fully Implemented and Sustained.

In 2008, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) security inspection at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), which is overseen by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), found significant weaknesses, particularly in LLNL’s protective force’s ability to assure the protection of weapons-grade (special) nuclear material.

GAO was asked to (1) characterize security deficiencies identified in the 2008 inspection; (2) determine the factors that contributed to these deficiencies; (3) identify LLNL’s corrective actions to address security deficiencies; and (4) assess LLNL’s plan to permanently remove the riskiest special nuclear material from its site.