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Priority Open Recommendations: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

GAO-20-286PR Published: Apr 10, 2020. Publicly Released: Apr 17, 2020.
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Fast Facts

Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to the recommendations where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.

This report outlines our 7 priority open recommendations for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) as of April 2020.

For example, we recommended that NRC take additional actions to improve the security of radioactive material.

Since our previous letter in April 2019, NRC has not implemented any of our priority recommendations.



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What GAO Found

In April 2019, GAO identified four priority recommendations for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Since then, NRC has not implemented any priority recommendations.

In April 2020, GAO identified three additional priority recommendation for NRC, bringing the total number to seven. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • addressing the security of radiological sources.
  • improving the reliability of cost estimates.
  • improving strategic human capital management. ensuring the cybersecurity of the nation.
  • NRC's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.

Why GAO Did This Study

Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision-making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015, GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations.

For more information, contact Mark Gaffigan at (202) 512-3841 or

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Best practicesCost estimatesCybersecurityHigh-risk issuesHuman capital managementRadioactive materialsRadiological dispersal deviceRisk managementNatural resourcesNuclear terrorism