On July 15, 2016, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released GAO-16-330 titled, “Nuclear Security: NRC Has Enhanced the Controls of Dangerous Radioactive Materials, but Vulnerabilities Remain.” The report examines
- the steps that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the 37 states it permits to grant licenses for radioactive materials—called Agreement States—have taken to ensure that radioactive materials licenses are granted only to legitimate organizations and licensees can obtain materials only in quantities allowed by their licenses; and,
- the results of covert vulnerability testing designed to test the effectiveness of these controls.
In the report, GAO concludes that NRC and Agreement States have taken several steps to help ensure that radioactive materials licenses are granted only to legitimate organizations and that licensees can only obtain such materials in quantities allowed by their licenses.
However, GAO also determined that NRC and Agreement States have not taken some measures for better controlling Category 3 quantities of radioactive material—such as tracking and agency license verification—that leave vulnerabilities.
GAO-16-330 was prepared in response to a request from the Committee on Homeland Security of the U.S. House of Representatives.