Uranium Enrichment:

Analysis of Decontamination and Decommissioning Scenarios

RCED-92-77BR: Published: Nov 15, 1991. Publicly Released: Nov 26, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO analyzed the adequacy of a $500- million annual deposit into a fund to pay for the cost of cleaning up the Department of Energy's three aging uranium enrichment plants, focusing on four different scenarios, including a: (1) fixed annual $500-million deposit into a fund to cover estimated decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) costs; (2) $500-million annual deposit indexed to an inflation rate to cover estimated D&D costs; (3) fixed annual $500-million deposit into a fund to cover total estimated clean-up costs; and (4) $500-million annual deposit indexed to an inflation rate to cover total estimated clean-up costs.

GAO found that a: (1) fixed annual $500-million deposit into a clean-up fund would not be adequate to cover total expected clean-up costs or expected D&D costs; (2) $500-million annual deposit indexed to an inflation rate would provide adequate funding to cover estimated D&D costs; (3) $500-million annual deposit indexed to an inflation rate would also be adequate to cover estimated D&D costs, should a deposit less than $500 million be desired; and (4) $500-million initial deposit indexed to an inflation rate would provide adequate funding for all expected clean-up costs, but, during part of the clean-up period, the fund would not have enough money to pay for total expected costs and would have to borrow funds to meet those costs.

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