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Priority Open Recommendations: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

GAO-22-105602 Published: Jun 03, 2022. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 2022.
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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 where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.

This report outlines our 5 priority open recommendations for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as of July 2016. For example, because some quantities of radioactive materials can be dangerous to human health if not handled properly, NRC should better track and secure these materials.

Since our previous letter in April 2021, NRC implemented 1 of our priority recommendations.

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What GAO Found

In April 2021, GAO identified six priority recommendations for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Since then, NRC has implemented one of those recommendations by incorporating skill set estimates as part of its strategic workforce planning process. This will improve NRC's ability to strategically manage its workforce and respond to changes in the nuclear industry. The remaining five priority recommendations involve the following areas:

  • addressing the security of radiological sources; and
  • improving the reliability of cost estimates.

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 that 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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