Federal Research:

Foreign Contributions to the Superconducting Super Collider

RCED-93-75: Published: Dec 30, 1992. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on foreign contributions to the Department of Energy's (DOE) Superconducting Super Collider (SSC).

GAO found that: (1) at the end of fiscal year (FY) 1992, DOE had received $15 billion in foreign in-kind contributions such as labor, equipment, and materials; (2) DOE pays laboratories in Russia and China about half as much as it would pay for the same work done in the United States because of lower labor costs, and considers the savings as contributions; (3) the SSC laboratory is negotiating agreements with India and Korea which will result in further contributions; (4) the SSC funding profile calls for DOE to obtain an additional $1.1 billion in foreign contributions through FY 1996; (5) Japanese officials stated that they are still studying the merits of the project and have not yet decided to contribute; (6) U.S. taxpayers' share of the SSC estimated cost will increase if foreign contributions do not materialize; (7) a 1-year slippage in the project's overall completion schedule would increase the project's cost by $400 million; and (8) procedures DOE and the SSC Laboratory followed when entering into agreements with foreign laboratories and the criteria DOE used for considering cost savings under international agreements were appropriate.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOE responded to Congress that it was only confident of $400 million of the $1.7 billion goal for foreign contributions.

    Matter: As part of its FY 1994 funding decision for SSC, Congress should require DOE to provide it with the most complete, accurate, and up-to-date information available on the status of DOE efforts to obtain contributions for SSC from Japan and other foreign countries.


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