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In December 2000, the Department of Energy (DOE) awarded Bechtel National, Inc. (Bechtel) a contract to design and construct the Waste Treatment Plant (WTP), one of the largest nuclear waste cleanup projects in the nation. Originally expected to cost $4.
During the late 1990s, the Department of Energy (DOE) experienced difficulties with a lack of clear management authority and responsibility that contributed to security problems at the nation's nuclear weapons laboratories and management problems with major projects.
In response to security and management weaknesses, in 1999 the Congress created the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a separately organized agency within the Department of Energy (DOE).
The International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) safeguards system has been a cornerstone of U.S. efforts to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation since the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was adopted in 1970. Safeguards allow IAEA to verify countries' compliance with the NPT.
Prior to the 1998 privatization of the U.S. Enrichment Corporation (USEC), the Department of Energy (DOE) transferred about 45,000 metric tons of natural uranium to USEC to, among other things, be enriched to fulfill USEC's nuclear fuel contracts.
GAO is releasing two reports today on U.S. efforts to combat nuclear smuggling in foreign countries and in the United States. Together with the March 2005 report on the Department of Energy's Megaports Initiative, these reports represent GAO's analysis of the U.S.