Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on: (1) changes in the U.S. nuclear safety assistance program's goals since its inception; (2) the costs associated with the program; (3) the status of 13 safety projects implemented by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC); and (4) the way in which the agencies assess the effect of the projects on improving safety.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Energy||1. To improve the management of the nuclear safety assistance program, the Secretary of Energy should develop a strategic plan that: (1) clearly links the program's goals and objectives to performance measurements; (2) provides well-defined time frames for completing the program; and (3) projects the anticipated funds required to meet the program's specific objectives, including the estimated U.S. contributions to cost-sharing arrangements that take into account the recipient countries' ability to realistically meet resource commitments.|
|Department of Energy||2. To improve the management of the nuclear safety assistance program, the Secretary of Energy should facilitate the timely and duty-free delivery of U.S. safety equipment to nuclear powerplants in Ukraine. Specifically, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's in-country representative in Ukraine should, as part of this position's assigned duty, work with the appropriate government authorities to resolve customs problems should the position assume broader responsibilities in the future. Part of this monitoring responsibility could include periodic visits to the nuclear powerplants in Ukraine.|