Nuclear Health and Safety:

Environmental, Health and Safety Practices at Naval Reactors Facilities

T-RCED-91-24: Published: Apr 25, 1991. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 1991.

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GAO discussed environmental, health, and safety practices at two Naval Reactors Program research and development facilities. GAO noted that: (1) the laboratories and sites were in full compliance with federal and state standards regarding radioactive releases to the environment and there was no evidence of unsafe radiological operations or conditions; (2) there was no evidence in personnel exposure records, incident reports, and other exposure information that any personnel had exceeded the annual radiation exposure limit; (3) the laboratories and sites provided safety measures that were consistent with the requirements for commercial nuclear reactors; (4) prototype reactors did employ enhanced safety systems and met the intent of safety criteria for normal operations and accident conditions; and (5) the Naval Reactors Program approved a $68-million program to remove or stabilize asbestos at all of its facilities over the next 10 years. GAO believes that all laboratories and sites were: (1) in the process of complying with legislative requirements that potentially hazardous areas be characterized and remedial action taken if necessary; and (2) addressing problems associated with radioactively contaminated buildings and chemical wastes in landfills and disposal sites to protect public and worker health and safety.

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