Facility Relocation

NRC Based Its Decision to Move Its Technical Training Center on Perceived Benefits--Not Costs Gao ID: GAO-01-54 October 19, 2000

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has decided to move its technical training center from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to near its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. The relocation is intended to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the agency's operations. The center provides diverse training curricula on such topics as nuclear power plant technology augmented by training on simulators, risk assessment, radiation protection, and regulatory skills. NRC used a reasonable methodology to determine the costs of relocating its facility. It considered costs related to staff salaries, travel costs for center participants, and lease payments. However, NRC used several assumptions that, if changed, would affect the cost of the move. For example, a change in the number of staff who would relocate would have an impact on costs. According to NRC, the objective of the move was not to minimize the cost of operating the center but rather to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the agency's operations. NRC believes that the move would yield many benefits, including greater access to training facilities by its headquarters staff and frequent use of simulators in investigations. NRC needs to resolve several issues to ensure the long-term efficacy of its training program, such as replacing training instructors who will be retiring in a few years.


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