Weaknesses in NRC's Security Clearance Program

T-RCED-89-14: Published: Mar 15, 1989. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 1989.

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GAO discussed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) personnel security clearance program. GAO found that NRC: (1) did not conduct required background investigations of its employees, which could cause potential security risks; (2) waived investigative requirements for about 99 percent of its employees because it took between 10 months and 1 year to complete security clearances, at an excessive cost; (3) failed to reinvestigate about 50 percent of its cleared employees and had no knowledge of whether they posed security risks; (4) applied its reinvestigation policies to all fuel facility employees, but failed to require reinvestigations for its employees with low-level clearances; (5) received information on drug- and alcohol-related problems among nuclear power plant employees, but failed to investigate or suspend clearances; and (6) lacked effective internal controls to manage its program and update its automated clearance database, which contained inaccurate and outdated information.

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