Financial Assurance Requirements for Decommissioning Nuclear Power Reactors

OGC-99-4: Published: Oct 9, 1998. Publicly Released: Oct 9, 1998.


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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) new rule on financial assurance requirements for decommissioning nuclear power reactors. GAO noted that: (1) the amendments to NRC's requirements for the financial decommissioning of nuclear power plants respond to the potential rate deregulation in the power generating industry and allow a broader range of assurance mechanisms for reactor licensees who lose their ability to recover decommissioning costs through regulated rates and fees or other mandatory charges; (2) the amendments also: (a) define federal licensee and add several associated definitions; (b) add new reporting requirements pertaining to the use of prepayment and external sinking funds; (c) impose new reporting requirements for power reactor licensees on the status of decommissioning funding; and (d) permit power reactor licensees to take credit for certain earnings on decommissioning trust funds; and (3) NRC complied with applicable requirements in promulgating the rule.

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