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Highlights

In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on issues pertaining to the Price-Anderson Act, which establishes funding to compensate for personal injury and property damage from a nuclear accident and limits the nuclear industry's liability for such accidents. GAO assessed the: (1) potential consequences of various nuclear power plant accidents; (2) likelihood of accident occurrence; and (3) impact of inflation on the protection the act originally provided.

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Recommendations

Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
Congress should: (1) reassess the commercial liability limit on the basis of inflation, estimates of accident consequences and probabilities, and the uncertainties in these estimates; (2) set the liability limit for DOE at the same level as for commercial licensees; and (3) clarify the act to provide equal protection for the public in the event of a precautionary evacuation.
Closed - Implemented
In August 1988, the President signed legislation that increases Price-Anderson Act coverage to about $7 billion for a nuclear accident. The act sets the same liability limit for DOE and commercial licensees.

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