The Manhattan Project Resources

U.S. Department of Energy

Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security

Office of History and Heritage Resources

Public Release of Nuclear Weapon Declassification Policy Changes from 1946 to the Present

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Press Secretary, Washington, DC 20585


Public Release of Nuclear Weapon Declassification Policy Changes from 1946 to the Present

Table of Contents

Specifically
Background
Benefits
Who Are the Key Stakeholders?
Contact
Attachment
Questions and Answers

The Department of Energy has prepared for public release a document titled "Drawing Back the Curtain of Secrecy: Restricted Data Declassification Policy from 1946 to the Present," dated June 1, 1994, which describes the Restricted Data nuclear weapon declassification policy changes made by the Department and its predecessor agencies.

Specifically

Background

Benefits

Who Are the Key Stakeholders?

Contact

U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Sam Grizzle
(202) 586-5806


Attachment

Nuclear Information Declassified by Program (Estimated)


U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Press Secretary, Washington, DC 20585


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q. Why doesn't this document tell what is classified rather than what has been declassified?

A. It is necessary to protect classified information under law, treaty, and regulation in the interest of nuclear nonproliferation and national security. Detailed descriptions of the classified information could be of value to proliferants, terrorists, and nuclear adversaries.

Q. Does this document contain the actual Restricted Data information that has been declassified?

A. No, in most cases it only contains the changes in classification policy. These are the rules which determine what information is unclassified but usually not the unclassified information itself.

Q. Why were previous changes in declassification policy not always announced?

A. The Atomic Energy Act states that when information is declassified, it can be published without undue risk to the common defense and security. Nevertheless, in the past, it was sometimes believed that even revealing what had been declassified might have intelligence or proliferation value. Although the declassification policy changes were not always announced, they were implemented in the review of documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act so that declassified information was released even though the policy changes were not announced.


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