[Request for Comments on Proposed Revision to Uranium Enrichment Services Criteria]
B-207463, Feb 19, 1986
GAO provided its opinion on the Department of Energy's (DOE) proposed revised uranium enrichment services criteria. The Atomic Energy Act provides that DOE must: (1) fully recover the cost to the government of providing such services; (2) establish prices on a nondiscriminatory basis; (3) generally not offer such services for certain nuclear materials of foreign origin; (4) establish standard terms and conditions for offering such services; and (5) submit proposed criteria for the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy's approval. GAO expressed its concern that the proposed criteria: (1) do not provide for full recovery of the government's costs; (2) reserve the right for DOE to determine which costs are appropriate for recovery; (3) provide that prices will be individually negotiated with customers; (4) fail to establish standard terms and conditions for enrichment services; (5) do not ensure nondiscriminatory pricing; (6) might not satisfy the statutory requirement regarding materials of foreign origin; and (7) are not consistent with existing law or with congressional intent. GAO believes that: (1) DOE should attempt to initiate legislative action if it wishes to bring about changes in the policies set forth in the act; and (2) given the changing nature of the uranium enrichment market, DOE and Congress should jointly reexamine the purpose and structure of the enrichment program.