WASHINGTON, DC — According to a Congressional review, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has not adequately ensured that owners of nuclear power plants have enough money to safely operate and eventually decommission their plants.

Prepared by the General Accounting Office (GAO), the investigative agency of Congress, the review was asked for by Representative Edward Markey (D-MA) because of concerns that utility deregulation and recent license transfers have cut the funds available for decommissioning a nuclear plant, the cost of which can range from $300 to $400 million.

The NRC has licensed 125 plants. Utilities in the U.S. have either sold or are selling all or parts of 15 plants. Thirty plants have transferred licenses.

Publication date: 12/24/2001