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ERIC Number: ED500008
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 47
Abstractor: ERIC
Nuclear Security: Action May Be Needed to Reassess the Security of NRC-Licensed Research Reactors. Report to the Ranking Member, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives. GAO-08-403
Aloise, Gene
Government Accountability Office
There are 37 research reactors in the United States, mostly located on college campuses. Of these, 33 reactors are licensed and regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Four are operated by the Department of Energy (DOE) and are located at three national laboratories. Although less powerful than commercial nuclear power reactors, research reactors may still be attractive targets for terrorists. As requested, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined the (1) basis on which DOE and NRC established the security and emergency response requirements for DOE and NRC-licensed research reactors; and (2) progress that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has made in converting U.S. research reactors that use highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. This report summarizes the findings of GAO's classified report on the security of research reactors (GAO-08-156C). GAO recommends that NRC reassess the consequences of terrorist attacks on NRC-licensed research reactors using assumptions that better reflect a fuller range of expert opinion on reactor security. NNSA and DOE generally agreed with the report. NRC disagreed with the report in several areas. GAO continues to believe that given the uncertainty associated with NRC's security assessment, it is important that NRC reassess the consequences of a terrorist attack on research reactors. The following are appended: (1) Comments from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and (2) GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments. (Contains 3 tables and 2 figures.) [This report was produced by the US Government Accountability Office, formerly known as the General Accounting Office.]
US Government Accountability Office. 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20548. Tel: 202-512-6000; Web site: http://www.gao/gov
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A