March 21, 2003  


DOE Security Condition Levels Explained

By Rick Yeager

Following the Monday, March 17 upgrade of the national threat condition from Yellow to Orange by the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy (DOE) raised the Security Condition (SECON) status of their facilities from "SECON-3 modified" to "SECON-2."

SECON Level 2 is an elevated security posture for DOE, and reflects a heightened need for vigilance in light of recent global events.

DOE SECON status corresponds with the National alert levels as follows:

National Level Red/SECON Level 1: Severe risk of terrorist attack or, an attack is in progress.

National Level Orange/SECON Level 2: High risk of terrorist attack.

National Level Yellow/SECON Level 3: Significant or elevated risk of terrorist attack.

National Level Blue/SECON Level 4: Guarded or general risk of terrorist attack.

National Level Green/SECON Level 5: Low risk of terrorist attack.

DOE Headquarters in Washington, D.C. directs the Laboratory to assume one of the above levels, or to assume a modified level such as SECON Level 3+, the level that we were at before the recent upgrade. At each of these levels, SLAC’s Safeguards and Security takes a series of enhanced security actions.

The most visible changes begin at SECON Level 2 and involve checking the photo I.D. for all persons in a vehicle and visually checking the cargo area of all delivery vehicles.

At SECON Level 1, the Laboratory would be closed to public access so that tours and public events would be cancelled. SECON Level 1 would be similar to the actions that took place at SLAC immediately following the September 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. This may vary depending on the information received from DOE Headquarters.

At both the Yellow and Orange levels, we are required to verify the identities of personnel entering the site. SLAC employees, scientific users and contractors operating vehicles are required to show their SLAC I.D. Passengers in these vehicles are required to show photo I.D. during the current Orange (SECON Level 2) level, but not under the Yellow (SECON Level 3+) level.

All visitors operating a vehicle and all their passengers in the vehicle are required to show a photo I.D. under both Orange and Yellow levels.

At SECON Level 2, the Security Officers at site entrances will continue to contact a visitor’s SLAC Point-of-Contact to verify the visit. Therefore your continued assistance in advising the Main Gate of arriving visitors is appreciated. You can do this by

completing the SLAC Site Entry Authorization form, found under the ‘Site Entry’ heading at the Safeguards and Security Web site (

Additionally, Security Officers will visually check enclosed cargo areas of delivery vehicles entering the Laboratory (all cargo vehicles at SECON Level 2; selected cargo vehicles at SECON Level 3+). Signage is being prepared for posting at the two entry gates indicating the current SECON Level to arriving personnel.

All of us need to remain aware and report any suspicious activities to Security Officers or SLAC Safeguards and Security, Ext. 2551. Please stay alert and supportive of our Safeguards and Security Officers and staff members during this critical period.

For more information on Safeguards and Security at the Lab, see:


The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Thursday March 20, 2003 by Kathy B