Nuclear Proliferation

DOE Has Insufficient Control Over Nuclear Technology Exports Gao ID: RCED-86-144 May 1, 1986

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) control over assistance to foreign atomic energy programs, specifically those involving sensitive nuclear technology (SNT).

GAO noted that: (1) the Secretary of Energy may only authorize the export of SNT if he determines that the authorization does not adversely affect U.S. interests, and the Department of State concurs; (2) SNT requires specific authorization for export to recipient countries, which must agree to certain conditions regarding its use; and (3) the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) shares responsibility with DOE for controlling nuclear exports. GAO found that DOE: (1) failed to establish objective standards for authorizing exports as recommended, and its controls were, therefore, inconsistent with NRC controls; (2) authorized exports for SNT without review and based on factors not contained in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978; and (3) authorized, without reviewing, reports that contained information on sensitive nuclear facilities and operations.


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