Nuclear Safety:

Concerns with the Nuclear Power Reactors in Cuba

T-RCED-95-236: Published: Aug 1, 1995. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 1995.

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GAO discussed the construction of two Soviet-designed nuclear power reactors in Cuba. GAO noted that: (1) it is uncertain when or whether the Cuban reactors will become operational, since Cuba suspended the reactors' construction due to a lack of funding; (2) a Nuclear Regulatory Commission study showed that the Cuban reactors' containment structures were designed to withstand only inordinately low pressures in case of an accident; (3) there is concern that the reactors' containment structures are inadequate and radioactive material could be released to the southeastern quadrant of the United States; (4) Cuban informants have reported that poor construction and training practices exist that could adversely affect the safe operation of the reactors; (5) Cuban officials have not made available needed information to assess the earthquake potential at the reactor sites; and (6) the United States believes that other countries should refrain from assisting the Cuban nuclear program until it ratifies the nonproliferation treaty it signed in March 1995, which would allow international inspections of Cuba's nuclear facilities.

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