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

DOE/SO-70-0011 (Deleted Version)

Eleventh 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

May 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 1.318 million additional pages of publicly available records accessioned by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Department discovered an additional 224 documents containing 683 pages of RD and FRD which were inadvertently released:

The identified documents are in collections belonging to the Department of State, the Department of Defense (Army, Navy, and Joint Staff), and the Executive Office of the President/Office of Management and Budget. The documents were inadvertently declassified and made available to the public during the years from 1995 to 2000 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 (213 of the 224) 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, Department of Defense, the Army, the Navy, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been advised the specific documents contain RD and FRD. The 224 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 1,930 individuals from other agencies to recognize RD and FRD information. This includes 202 individuals from the Department of State, 74 from the Department of Navy, 26 from the Department of Defense Joint Staff and 151 from NARA. Additionally, 202 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 991,000 newly declassified pages, we found 141 documents containing RD/FRD that had been declassified in error. 139 of those errors occurred in a single collection associated with the Nixon Presidential Library, scheduled for public release in 2003, and this appears to be a singular occurrence. (This can be compared to 224 erroneously declassified documents found in 1,318,000 pages for this report.) The documents found during our quality control sampling are saved from inadvertent release and are protected in accordance with DOE requirements. The agencies that performed the incorrect declassifications are informed of the errors.

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.