Alternative Methods for Funding U.S. Support of International Atomic Energy Agency Activities

ID-77-20: Published: May 5, 1977. Publicly Released: May 5, 1977.

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The various alternative methods that the government might use to generate revenues for U.S. financial participation in the activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency, especially the safeguards program, would either encounter legal difficulties or be impractical. The alternative sources of revenue considered included surcharges on uranium enrichment services, nuclear equipment and material, and operations of U.S. nuclear power reactors.

Although a few of the alternatives offer some potential, each has disadvantages. Any change from the present method of funding might set a precedent and create pressure for the funding of other international organizations through separate revenue-raising schemes. The current system provides for congressional oversight, and no additional effort is required to collect the funds. Under the current method, U.S. support to the agency is paid for by the general public. Applying a surcharge to the price of enrichment services would be the most feasible alternative. The agency cannot adequately project its future funding needs, and may not have the ability to effectively absorb any future substantial increases in safeguards-related assistance.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: GAO is not recommending that the current method of funding U.S. support of the agency from general revenues be changed.

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