The U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) is the investigative arm of Congress charged with the auditing and evaluation of government programs and activities. It audited a number of departments involved in regulating the nuclear energy industry and found serious deficiencies. These affect the safety of U.S. nuclear nuclear reactors.
Fire protection – NRC regulations too weak.
06/2008 Oversight of Fire Protection at U.S. Commercial Nuclear Reactor Units Could Be Strengthened
Underground pipe leaks – NRC regulations too weak.
06/2011 Oversite of Underground Piping Systems Commensurate with Risk, but Proactive Measures Could Help Address Future Leaks
Safety culture – NRC regulations non-existent.
09/2006 Oversite of Nuclear Power Plant Safety Has Improved, but Refinements Are Needed
Nuclear plants (originally developed to produce enriched uranium for national defense) – subsidized by taxpayers.
08/15/1975 Selected Aspects of Nuclear Power Plant Reliability and Economics
Insurance liability – requirements inadequate.
05/2004 NRC’s Liability Insurance Requirements for Nuclear Power Plants Owned by Limited Liability Companies
Aging nuclear plant safety – NRC regulations too weak
05/2004 NRC Needs to More Aggressively and Comprehensively Resolve Issues Related to the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant’s Shutdown
NRC minimizes significance of security and safety problems by using “non-cited violations”. Non-cited violations do not require verification the problem has been fixed.
09/2003 Oversight of Security at Commerical Nuclear Power Plants Needs to Be Strengthened
NRC has a history of poor safety oversite, putting public safety at risk
08/13/1987 Efforts To Ensure Nuclear Power Plant Safety Can Be Strengthened
DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program unfairly favors nuclear energy over renewable energy solutions
07/2010 Further Actions Are Needed to Improve DOE’s Ability to Evaluate and Implement the Loan Guarantee Program
No nuclear waste storage solution in sight
- 11/16/2011 GAO Watchdog Audio – DOE Planning around Spent Fuel from Nuclear Reactors.
- 10/2011 DOE Needs to Enhance Planning for Technology Assessment and Collaboration with Industry and Other Countries
- 6/01/2011 Disposal Challenges and Lessons Learned from Yucca Mountain
- 6/15/2013 DOE: FCRD-NFST-2013-000132, Rev. 1; Fuel Cycle Research & Development-Nuclear Fuel Storage and Transportation-2013-000132, Rev. 1
- See more critical nuclear waste storage problems…
No measurements to track worldwide nuclear energy safety improvement progress
04/2010 Convention on Nuclear Safety is Viewed by Most Member Countries as Strengthening Safety Worldwide
Lithium-7 is critical to safely operate U.S. nuclear pressurized water reactors, yet little is known about lithium-7 production in China and Russia and whether their supplies can meet our future domestic demand.
9/2013 Stewardship of Lithium-7 Is Needed to Ensure a Stable Supply