Nuclear energy (1 - 10 of 230 items)
Research and Development: DOE Activities and Costs to Oversee Investments
GAO-17-261: Published: Feb 14, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 2017.
Three Department of Energy (DOE) program offices that GAO selected for detailed review—the offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Nuclear Energy, and Science—use various activities to oversee civilian research and development (R&D) investments.Activities to identify research priorities. The program offices obtain input from multiple sources to help determine the areas in which DOE...
Department of Energy: Excess Uranium Transfers
GAO-17-472T: Published: Mar 8, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 8, 2017.
DOE has an inventory of uranium, and periodically sells or transfers its excess—under the condition that sales or transfers will not have an adverse impact on the domestic uranium market, among other things. This testimony highlights several issues with DOE’s excess uranium transfers that we’ve found over the last decade. We found that DOE did not follow its own guidance for assessing the...
Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Changes Planned to Budget Structure and Justification
GAO-17-294: Published: Mar 8, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 8, 2017.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's budget increased 59 percent from fiscal year 2005 through 2010 in anticipation of growth in the commercial nuclear industry. When this growth did not occur, NRC began to reduce its budget, with a decrease of 6 percent since 2010. We found that some changes in NRC’s budget, such as how it budgeted for overhead, had the unintended consequence of appearing to in...
Nuclear Material: Agencies Have Sound Procedures for Managing Exchanges but Could Improve Inventory Monitoring
GAO-16-713: Published: Sep 23, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 2016.
In the United States, from October 1, 2003, through November 30, 2015, there were 817 exchanges of nuclear material that carried obligations to foreign partners under nuclear cooperation agreements. These exchanges allowed the obligated nuclear material to be transferred between U.S. facilities without physically moving it. For example, if a facility had a certain amount of obligated nuclear mater...
Nuclear Security: NRC Has Enhanced the Controls of Dangerous Radioactive Materials, but Vulnerabilities Remain
GAO-16-330: Published: Jul 1, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2016.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the 37 states it permits to grant licenses for radioactive materials—called agreement states—have taken several steps since 2007 to help ensure that licenses are granted only to legitimate organizations and that licensees can only obtain such materials in quantities allowed by their licenses. However, NRC and agreement states have not taken some meas...
Iran Nuclear Agreement: The International Atomic Energy Agency's Authorities, Resources, and Challenges
GAO-16-565: Published: Jun 9, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2016.
As outlined in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was asked to verify and monitor Iran's implementation of a range of nuclear-related commitments. IAEA is using its safeguards authorities and conducting additional activities agreed to by Iran under the JCPOA to do so. Iran's commitments include limits on uranium enrichment levels and on en...
Combating Nuclear Smuggling: NNSA's Detection and Deterrence Program Is Addressing Challenges but Should Improve Its Program Plan [Reissued on June 20, 2016]
GAO-16-460: Published: Jun 17, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 17, 2016.
The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence (NSDD) program has developed a program plan that includes four 5-year goals to guide its efforts; however, NSDD cannot measure its progress toward completing key activities and achieving these goals because its program plan does not fully incorporate leading practices for program management. Leading...
Nuclear Nonproliferation: Preliminary Observations on IAEA's Role in Verifying the Iran Agreement
GAO-16-417: Published: Feb 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 2016.
As outlined in the JCPOA, IAEA was asked to verify Iran's implementation of a range of nuclear-related commitments, and IAEA uses its authorities and conducts additional verification activities to do so, according to IAEA. Iran's commitments include limits on uranium enrichment levels and enriched uranium inventories. GAO's preliminary observations indicate that IAEA plans to verify Iran's impleme...
Department of Energy: Management of Excess Uranium
GAO-15-475T: Published: Apr 22, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 2015.
GAO has identified four key issues related to the Department of Energy's (DOE) management of excess uranium and uranium transfers in reports, testimonies, and a legal opinion issued since 2006 as follows:Elimination of a guideline to limit DOE's annual uranium sales and transfers. In May 2014, GAO found DOE's decision to discontinue its 10 percent guideline for limiting uranium sales and transfers...
Nuclear Commerce: Additional Actions Needed to Improve DOE's Export Control Process
GAO-15-124: Published: Oct 14, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 14, 2014.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has consistently missed its 30-day targets for the initial and interagency stages of the Part 810 review process (see table). From 2008 through 2013, DOE missed the target for the initial review stage for 80 of 89 applications processed, and interagency review times missed DOE's 30-day target for 85 applications. DOE has not established a target for the entire final...