Key Elements of Effective Independent Oversight of DOE's Nuclear Facilities

T-RCED-88-6: Published: Oct 22, 1987. Publicly Released: Oct 22, 1987.

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GAO discussed the proposed Nuclear Protections and Safety Act of 1987, specifically the establishment of a Nuclear Safety Board to oversee the Department of Energy's (DOE) nuclear facilities. GAO noted that the proposal addressed five key elements it considered essential, specifically: (1) independent oversight; (2) technical expertise; (3) ability to perform reviews of DOE facilities as needed; (4) authority to require DOE to address the board's findings and recommendations; and (5) a system to provide public access to the board's findings and recommendations. GAO also noted that the legislation should clarify the: (1) board's review function as a specific responsibility; and (2) frequency with which the board will evaluate the implementation of DOE health and safety standards.

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