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Priority Open Recommendations: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

GAO-24-107311 Published: May 10, 2024. Publicly Released: May 20, 2024.
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Fast Facts

Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help the federal government save money, address issues on our High Risk List, and significantly improve government operations.

This letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission outlines 8 open recommendations that it should prioritize. For example, we recommended that NRC improve the security of certain radioactive materials to make them less vulnerable to theft while developing a feasible option to recycle them or a method for permanent disposal.

NRC implemented 1 recommendation we identified as a priority last year.

We regularly update priority recommendations here.

Graphic that says, "GAO's Priority Open Recommendations" and includes the NRC seal.

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What GAO Found

In May 2023, GAO identified eight priority recommendations for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Since then, NRC has implemented one of those eight priority recommendations, which improved the security of personally identifiable information. Seven priority recommendations remain open.

In May 2024, GAO identified one additional priority recommendation for NRC, bringing the total number to eight. The eight recommendations involve the following areas:

  • Addressing the security of radiological sources
  • 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 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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Best practicesCost estimatesEnergyGovernment operationsHigh-risk issuesNatural resourcesRadioactive materialsRadioactive sourcesRadiological dispersal devicePersonally identifiable information