Unclassified Controlled
Nuclear Information (UCNI)

Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information (UCNI) under jurisdiction of the Department of Energy includes unclassified facility design information, operational information concerning the production, processing or utilization of nuclear material for atomic energy defense programs, safeguards and security information, nuclear material, and declassified controlled nuclear weapon information once classified as Restricted Data (RD).

Department of Defense Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information (DoD UCNI) is unclassified information on security measures (including security plans, procedures and equipment) for the physical protection of DoD Special Nuclear Material, equipment, or facilities.

Information is designated UCNI only when it is determined that its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to have a significant adverse effect on the health and safety of the public or the common defense and security by increasing significantly the likelihood of the illegal production of nuclear weapons or the theft, diversion, or sabotage of Special Nuclear Material, equipment, or facilities.

Statutory/Regulatory Responsibilities & Obligations

Access to UCNI Information

An individual must have an official need to know the information and be a federal employee, member of the U.S. Armed Services, contractor, consultant, law enforcement official, local government official, Indian tribal government official, or a foreign official who is part of an approved intergovernmental activity. A person with access to UCNI may disseminate that information only to other authorized individuals.

Marking UCNI Information

Different marking procedures apply for UCNI and DoD UCNI.

UCNI: If a document or material may contain UCNI, it should be marked in a conspicuous manner with the following notice:

Not for Public Dissemination
May contain Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information subject to section 148 of the Atomic energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2168). Approval by the Department of Energy prior to release is required.

If information or material is definitely known to contain UCNI, it should be marked in a conspicuous manner with one of the following notices:

Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information
Not for Public Dissemination
Unauthorized dissemination subject to civil and criminal sanctions under section 148 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2168)

or

Not for Public Dissemination
Unauthorized dissemination subject to civil and criminal sanctions under 42 U.S.C. 2168.

DoD UCNI: Unclassified documents and material containing DoD UCNI information shall be marked as follows:

  • The face of the document and the outside of the back cover (if there is one) shall be marked DoD Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information. Portions of a document that contain such information shall be marked with DoD UCNI at the beginning of the portion.
  • Pages of a classified document that contain no classified information but do contain DoD UCNI information shall be marked at the top and bottom of the page DoD Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information.
  • Material other than paper documents (for example, slides, computer media, films, etc.) shall bear markings which alert the holder or viewer that the material contains DoD UCNI information.
  • DoD UCNI documents and material transmitted outside the originating agency must bear an expanded marking on the face of the document so that recipients understand the status of the information. A statement similar to the following should be used:

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
UNCLASSIFIED CONTROLLED NUCLEAR INFORMATION
EXEMPT FROM MANDATORY DISCLOSURE
(5 USC 552(b)(3), as authorized by .10 USC 128)

Safeguarding UCNI Information

Different safeguarding procedures apply for UCNI and DoD UCNI.

UCNI: When UCNI information is in use, physical control must be maintained to prevent unauthorized access. When not in use, it must be stored in a secure container (e.g., locked desk or file cabinet) or in a location where access is limited (e.g., locked or guarded office, controlled access facility).

UCNI documents or material may be disposed of by any method which assures sufficiently complete destruction to prevent its retrieval.

A document or material containing UCNI material may be transmitted by U.S. first class, express, certified, or registered mail. It must be packaged to prevent disclosure of the presence of UCNI to unauthorized persons.

UCNI may be discussed or transmitted over an unprotected telephone or telecommunications circuit when required by operational considerations. More secure means of communication should be utilized whenever possible.

UCNI information may be put on an Internet web site only if access to the site is limited to a specific target audience and the information is encrypted. See Pre-Publication Review of Web Site Content.

DoD UCNI: During working hours, reasonable steps should be taken to minimize risk of access by unauthorized personnel. After working hours, DoD UCNI information shall be stored as a minimum in unlocked containers, desks or cabinets if government or government-contract building security is provided. If government or government-contract building security is not provided, it must be stored at a minimum in a locked desk, file cabinet, bookcase, locked room, or similar place.

DoD UCNI documents and material may be transmitted via first class mail, parcel post, or -- for bulk shipments -- fourth class mail. Electronic transmission of UCNI and DoD UCNI information (voice, data or facsimile) should be by approved secure communications systems whenever practical.

DoD UCNI documents may be destroyed by shredding or tearing into pieces and discarding the pieces in a regular trash container unless circumstances suggest a need for more careful protection.

Enforcement

Violation of Section 148 of the Atomic Energy Act carries a civil fine not to exceed $110,000. In addition, the individual may be subject to a criminal penalty under Section 223 of the Act.

Legal Authorities
42 USC 2168 – Atomic Energy Act of 1954.
10 CFR Part 1017 – Identification and Protection of Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information.
DoD Regulation 5200.1-R, Information Security Program.

 

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