Following the shutdown of a nuclear power plant a significant radioactive waste hazard remains until the waste is removed and the plant site decommissioned. In 1999, GAO reported that the combined value of the owners' decommissioning funds was insufficient to ensure enough funds would be available for decommissioning. GAO was asked to update its 1999 report and to evaluate the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) analysis of the owners' funds and its process for acting on reports that show insufficient funds.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Nuclear Regulatory Commission||1. To ensure that owners are accumulating sufficient funds to decommission their nuclear power plants, the Chairman, NRC, should develop an effective method for determining whether owners are accumulating funds at sufficient rates to pay for decommissioning. For plants having more than one owner, this method should include separately evaluating whether each owner is accumulating funds at sufficient rates to pay for its share of decommissioning.|
|Nuclear Regulatory Commission||2. The Chairman, NRC, should establish criteria for taking action when NRC determines that an owner or co-owner is not accumulating decommissioning funds at a sufficient rate to pay for its share of the cost of decommissioning.|