You are here



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.


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.

Classification/Declassification of Government Documents

DOE’s Office of Classifications ensures that all documents prepared at DOE Headquarters are properly marked to identify the level and category of protected information they contain (if any) and to ensure that all documents the Department prepares or is required to review under applicable statutes for public release contain no information requiring protection under law, regulations and Executive orders. 

Classification Training Institute (CTI)

Information for DOE and non-DOE personnel concerning courses offered by the CTI, the current course schedule and training and resources (reference materials and links to web pages with additional information) concerning information classified and controlled information within the DOE are made available.  DOE’s Office of Classification has undertaken the establishment and maintenance of a comprehensive classification and declassification education program to ensure that all classification and declassification decisions are based on these principles.

Official Use Only Information (OUO)

OUO is a DOE category of sensitive unclassified information whose release to the wrong person could damage Governmental, commercial, or private interests. This category of information is intended to identify and protect sensitive unclassified information that is not otherwise classified or controlled. A document containing OUO information must be marked so that anyone having the document knows that it contains such information.

Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information (UCNI)

UCNI is certain unclassified information about nuclear facilities and nuclear weapons that must be controlled because its unauthorized release could have a significant adverse effect on the national security or public health and safety. The Director, Office of Classification (OC), decides what specific information is UCNI.