Nuclear Nonproliferation:

Concerns With the U.S. International Nuclear Materials Tracking System

T-RCED/AIMD-96-91: Published: Feb 28, 1996. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 1996.

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GAO discussed U.S. ability to track exported U.S. nuclear materials. GAO noted that: (1) the United States regulates and controls its exports of civilian-use nuclear materials through agreements for cooperation and export licenses; (2) because the Department of Energy's (DOE) nuclear materials tracking system depends largely on countries' compliance with data-reporting requirements, the system does not always track materials that are moved among facilities within countries and does not show the current status of nuclear materials; (3) the United States relies on additional sources to obtain information on nuclear materials; (4) the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's export licensing database, DOE tracking system database, and Department of Commerce's National Trade Data Bank have differing data on the amounts of nuclear materials exported; and (5) DOE replaced its tracking system in 1995 with a poorly developed, documented, and tested system that merely replicated the functions of the older system and did not identify users' needs or design alternatives.

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