The US Government Accountability Office has slammed the NRC and the reactor decommissioning fund claiming the fund is inadequate as is the NRC oversight.
Citing that the majority of the funds do not have enough money to cover real decommissioning costs, some with only 57% of the needed money in the fund.
GAO also cited a number of NRC rules and procedures that allowed power companies to not have to prove proper funding and left vague metrics to be followed. The NRC also failed to establish a method to assure power companies are not investing their funds into mutual funds or other investments heavily invested in the nuclear industry. Decommissioning funds are also at risk to the stock market ups and downs.
GAO listed five corrective actions the NRC needs to take to establish some basic oversight of the system. They also pointed out that the NRC is still using a funding formula from 30 years ago, yet costs have skyrocketed since then. The entire report and details can be found on the GAO website.
This doesn’t even touch on the spent fuel issue where the NRC’s most current plan is to store the fuel in 20 year rated casks in the plant parking lots for 200 years. Russia can give some hints how well ignoring that problem works out.
Many thanks to Nancy Allen for finding the GAO report.
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