42 U.S. Code § 2168. Dissemination of unclassified information
(a) Dissemination prohibited; rules and regulations; determinations of Secretary prerequisite to issuance of prohibiting regulations or orders; criteria
(1) In addition to any other authority or requirement regarding protection from dissemination of information, and subject to section 552(b)(3) of title 5, the Secretary of Energy (hereinafter in this section referred to as the “Secretary”), with respect to atomic energy defense programs, shall prescribe such regulations, after notice and opportunity for public comment thereon, or issue such orders as may be necessary to prohibit the unauthorized dissemination of unclassified information pertaining to—
the design, manufacture, or utilization of any atomic weapon or component if the design, manufacture, or utilization of such weapon or component was contained in any information declassified or removed from the Restricted Data category by the Secretary (or the head of the predecessor agency of the Department of Energy) pursuant to section 2162 of this title.
The Secretary may prescribe regulations or issue orders under paragraph (1) to prohibit the dissemination of any information described in such paragraph only if and to the extent that the Secretary determines that the unauthorized dissemination of such information 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 significantly increasing the likelihood of (A) illegal production of nuclear weapons, or (B) theft, diversion, or sabotage of nuclear materials, equipment, or facilities.
In making a determination under paragraph (2), the Secretary may consider what the likelihood of an illegal production, theft, diversion, or sabotage referred to in such paragraph would be if the information proposed to be prohibited from dissemination under this section were at no time available for dissemination.
(4) The Secretary shall exercise his authority under this subsection to prohibit the dissemination of any information described in paragraph (1) of this subsection—
so as to apply the minimum restrictions needed to protect the health and safety of the public or the common defense and security; and
upon a determination that the unauthorized dissemination of such information could reasonably be expected to result in a significant adverse effect on the health and safety of the public or the common defense and security by significantly increasing the likelihood of (i) illegal production of nuclear weapons, or (ii) theft, diversion, or sabotage of nuclear materials, equipment, or facilities.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the Secretary to authorize the withholding of information from the appropriate committees of the Congress.
(b) Civil penalties
Any person who violates any regulation or order of the Secretary issued under this section with respect to the unauthorized dissemination of information shall be subject to a civil penalty, to be imposed by the Secretary, of not to exceed $100,000 for each such violation. The Secretary may compromise, mitigate, or remit any penalty imposed under this subsection.
The provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of section 2282 of this title, shall be applicable with respect to the imposition of civil penalties by the Secretary under this section in the same manner that such provisions are applicable to the imposition of civil penalties by the Commission under subsection (a) of such section.
(c) Criminal penalties
(d) Judicial review
(Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 724, title I, § 148, as added Pub. L. 97–90, title II, § 210(a)(1), Dec. 4, 1981, 95 Stat. 1169; amended Pub. L. 97–415, § 17, Jan. 4, 1983, 96 Stat. 2076; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 102–486, title IX, § 902(a)(8), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 2944; Pub. L. 112–239, div. C, title XXXI, § 3134(c), Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 2193.)
Subsecs. (d), (e). Pub. L. 97–415, § 17(b), added subsecs. (d) and (e).