DOE Allocation of Costs for Uranium Enrichment Services

RCED-84-64: Published: Nov 15, 1983. Publicly Released: Nov 21, 1983.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined issues related to the Department of Energy's (DOE) uranium enrichment services program.

GAO found that DOE allocates its enrichment services costs and prices its enrichment services based on separative work units. Customers of both high and low enriched uranium are charged the same average price for each separative work unit required to produce their specific products. DOE calculates the price per separative work unit by dividing the total projected enrichment costs for a 10-year period by the estimated total number of separative work units for the same period. Although DOE allocates and recovers enrichment services costs through a single average price per separative work unit, high enriched uranium costs more per separative work unit than low enriched uranium. GAO estimated that the DOE method of allocation resulted in the assignment of about $34 million of high enriched uranium costs to low enriched uranium in fiscal year 1983. It was estimated that, if DOE charged the same price for both types of uranium, the price of low enriched uranium would be reduced by about $1 per separative work unit.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOE changed its accounting system to segregate costs in fiscal year 1985.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should, to more fairly price uranium enrichment, account separately for the costs of providing high and low enrichment services.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOE established separate prices which were reflected in revenue estimates for fiscal year 1986.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should, to more fairly price uranium enrichment and using such cost information, establish separate enrichment prices for customers of high and low enrichment uranium.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy


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