Nuclear Materials:

Plutonium Storage at DOE's Rocky Flats Plant

RCED-95-49: Published: Dec 29, 1994. Publicly Released: Feb 1, 1995.

Additional Materials:


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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the storage of plutonium at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Rocky Flats Plant, focusing on: (1) the safety of plutonium storage at the plant; and (2) DOE efforts to resolve plutonium storage problems.

GAO found that: (1) the 12.8 metric tons of plutonium stored at the DOE Rocky Flats Plant raises a number of important safety concerns; (2) the Rocky Flats plant faces the possibility of plutonium leaks, fire hazards, and worker exposure to plutonium because the plutonium has been packaged for short-term storage; (3) DOE has developed criteria for long-term plutonium storage and has begun inspecting plutonium metals for their compliance with fire safety standards to address its plutonium safety concerns; (4) it is difficult to accurately project time frames and costs for resolving plutonium storage problems at Rocky Flats because decisions on what to do with plutonium residues have not yet been made; and (5) resolving current and future safety concerns at the Rocky Flats Plant will likely require substantial investment and commitment.

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