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Audit Report: IG-0546

March 20, 2002

Accounting for Sealed Sources of Nuclear Material Provided to Foreign Countries

Through the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, the Department of Energy (Department) and its predecessor agencies provided nuclear materials to foreign facilities as part of the Atoms for Peace Program. While this program was designed to aid other nations in developing their own nuclear energy capabilities, the materials provided, including fuel rods, sealed sources, and raw materials, remained U.S. Government-owned. Beginning in the 1960s, the U.S. discontinued its policy of lending the material, and began to transfer ownership through sale or donation. However, according to Departmental records, the U.S. Government still retained title to much of the nuclear material provided to foreign entities.