Nuclear Proliferation: Past U.S. Involvement Improved Russian Nuclear Material Security, but Little is Known about Current Conditions
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON DC United States
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Russia possesses the worlds largest stockpile of weapons-usable nuclear materials, largely left over from the Cold War. These nuclear materials could be used to build a nuclear weapon if acquired by a rogue state or terrorist group. Starting in 1993, and for the next 2 decades, DOE worked with Russia to improve security at dozens of sites that contained these nuclear materials. In 2014, following Russian aggression in Ukraine and U.S. diplomatic responses, Russia ended nearly all nuclear security cooperation with the United States. The Senate report accompanying the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision for GAO to review NNSAs efforts to improve Russian nuclear material security. This report 1 examines the extent to which NNSA had completed its planned nuclear material security efforts when cooperation ended and what nuclear security concerns remained, 2 describes what is known about the current state of nuclear material security in Russia, and 3 describes stakeholder views on opportunities for future U.S.-Russian nuclear security cooperation. To address all three objectives, GAO interviewed U.S. government officials, personnel from DOEs national laboratories, and nongovernmental experts. In this report, GAO refers to all of these groups as stakeholders. GAO also reviewed relevant U.S. government plans, policies, and program documentation. GAO requested the opportunity to interview Russian officials and representatives at nuclear material sites for this review, but the Russian government denied this request.
- Nuclear Weapons
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics