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Highlights

In response to a congressional request, GAO discussed the: (1) adequacy of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) cost estimates for decommissioning nuclear power plants and fuel-cycle facilities; and (2) methods that utilities and operators could use to ensure the availability of decommissioning funds.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Nuclear Regulatory Commission The Chairman, NRC, should reexamine NRC estimates to determine whether they appropriately reflect all the costs that utilities and fuel-cycle operators believe are needed to decommission their facilities. NRC should use information being developed to decommission Shippingport and the information gained in resolving the differences between the Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) and TLG Engineering, Inc. estimates for the Washington Public Power Supply System Unit 2 plant.
Closed - Implemented
NRC plans to reexamine its cost estimates and has three research programs underway to obtain information on the conduct of decommissioning activities at Shippingport, source term data, and technical, safety, and cost issues. NRC also plans to update earlier PNL study results.

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