oversight

Nuclear Safety: International Atomic Energy Agency's Nuclear Technical Assistance for Cuba

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-03-24.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                 United States General Accounting Office

GAO              Report to Congressional Requesters




March 1997
                 NUCLEAR SAFETY
                 International Atomic
                 Energy Agency’s
                 Nuclear Technical
                 Assistance for Cuba




GAO/RCED-97-72
      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Resources, Community, and
      Economic Development Division

      B-276158

      March 24, 1997

      The Honorable Jesse A. Helms
      Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations
      United States Senate

      The Honorable Dan Burton
      Chairman, Committee on Government Reform
        and Oversight
      House of Representatives

      The Honorable Bob Graham
      United States Senate

      The Honorable Peter Deutsch
      The Honorable Robert Menendez
      House of Representatives

      Since 1958, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),1 in promoting
      the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, has been providing nuclear technical
      assistance to its member states through projects that supply equipment,
      expert services, and training.2 Currently, more than 90 countries receive
      nuclear technical assistance, mostly through over 1,000 projects in IAEA’s
      technical cooperation program. The United States is a member of IAEA and
      financially contributes to the agency’s technical cooperation program.
      Through its technical cooperation program, IAEA is providing nuclear
      technical assistance to Cuba in 10 program areas, including general atomic
      energy development, the application of isotopes and radiation in




      1
       IAEA is affiliated with the United Nations and has 124 member states, including the United States.
      IAEA’s policy-making organizations are the General Conference and its decision-making body, the
      35-member Board of Governors, of which the United States is a member. In September 1996, the
      General Conference elected 11 new member states to the Board of Governors, including Cuba, to serve
      for a 2-year term.
      2
       Under IAEA’s 1957 statute and article IV of the 1970 Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,
      the agency facilitates the peaceful development and practical application of nuclear energy, in addition
      to carrying out its responsibilities for nuclear safeguards and safety. Member states are eligible to
      receive nuclear technical assistance from the agency even if they are not a party to nonproliferation
      treaties. However, member states that receive IAEA’s nuclear technical assistance are asked to sign a
      revised supplementary agreement with the agency to ensure that the nuclear technical assistance they
      receive will be used only for the peaceful applications of atomic energy and that the nuclear technical
      assistance projects in their country will be subject to IAEA’s safeguards.



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                   agriculture, and nuclear safety. Some of this assistance is for Cuba’s
                   partially constructed nuclear power reactors.3

                   In 1983, Cuba started to construct two Soviet-designed 440-megawatt
                   pressurized water reactors (known as the VVER 440 model) at Juragua
                   near Cienfuegos on the south central coast of Cuba, about 180 miles south
                   of Key West, Florida. The construction of these reactors was suspended in
                   1992 until financing should become available to complete them. The
                   President of Cuba, in a January 1997 public statement, announced the
                   indefinite postponement of the reactor program due to a lack of financial
                   resources. In February 1997, we met with the Vice Minister, Ministry of the
                   Russian Federation for Atomic Energy, who told us that Russia intends to
                   resume the construction of Cuba’s reactors in 1998 with financing
                   provided by an international consortium of countries, including Russia.
                   The United States opposes the completion of these reactors and
                   discourages other countries from providing assistance, except for safety
                   purposes, to Cuba’s nuclear program.

                   As requested, this report provides information on (1) the dollar value and
                   type of all nuclear technical assistance projects IAEA provided for Cuba,
                   (2) the sources of funding for all nuclear technical assistance projects IAEA
                   provided for Cuba, and (3) IAEA’s nuclear technical assistance projects for
                   the Cuban nuclear power reactors and U.S. officials’ views on this
                   assistance.


                   IAEA spent about $12 million on nuclear technical assistance projects for
Results in Brief   Cuba from 1963—when Cuba started to receive nuclear technical
                   assistance from IAEA—through 1996. About three-fourths of the
                   assistance Cuba received through these projects consisted of equipment,
                   such as computer systems, and radiation-monitoring and laboratory
                   equipment. IAEA’s nuclear technical assistance for Cuba was given
                   primarily in the areas of general atomic energy development and in the
                   application of isotopes and radiation in agriculture. IAEA recently approved
                   an additional $1.7 million for nuclear technical assistance projects for
                   Cuba for 1997 through 1999. In addition, IAEA spent about $2.8 million on
                   training for Cuban nationals and research contracts for Cuba that were not
                   part of specific nuclear technical assistance projects.



                   3
                     See Nuclear Safety: Concerns About the Nuclear Power Reactors in Cuba (GAO/RCED-92-262, Sept.
                   24, 1992) and Nuclear Safety: Concerns With the Nuclear Power Reactors in Cuba
                   (GAO/T-RCED-95-236, Aug. 1, 1995), which discuss concerns about the safety of the Cuban reactors.



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             Most of IAEA’s nuclear technical assistance projects for Cuba were funded
             through the agency’s technical cooperation fund, which is supported by
             member states’ voluntary contributions. In 1996, the United States
             contributed over $16 million—about 30 percent—of the total $53 million in
             the fund.4 From 1981 through 1993, the United States was required, under
             section 307(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, to
             withhold a share of its voluntary contribution to the fund because the fund
             provided assistance for Cuba, Libya, Iran, and the Palestine Liberation
             Organization. In 1994, the Foreign Assistance Act was amended to, among
             other things, exempt IAEA from the withholding requirement. Although the
             United States was no longer required to withhold the portion of its
             voluntary contribution that would have gone to Cuba and the other
             proscribed entities, State Department officials continued to withhold
             funds in 1994 and 1995 but did not withhold any of the United States’
             voluntary contribution to IAEA’s technical cooperation fund for 1996.
             Because IAEA’s technical cooperation fund provides nuclear technical
             assistance for Cuba, from 1981 through 1995, the United States withheld a
             total of about $2 million that otherwise would have gone for nuclear
             technical assistance for Cuba.

             Of the total dollar value of all nuclear technical assistance projects that
             IAEA has provided for Cuba, about $680,000 was approved for nuclear
             safety assistance for Cuba’s nuclear power reactors from 1991 through
             1998, of which about $313,000 has been spent. IAEA is assisting Cuba in
             developing the ability to conduct a safety assessment of the nuclear power
             reactors and in preserving, or “mothballing,” the reactors while
             construction is suspended. IAEA is also implementing a training program
             for personnel involved in the operational safety and maintenance of all
             nuclear installations in Cuba, including the reactors. State Department and
             U.S. Mission officials in Vienna, Austria, told us that they did not object to
             IAEA’s providing nuclear safety assistance to Cuba’s reactors because the
             United States generally supports nuclear safety assistance for IAEA member
             states that will promote the establishment of a safety culture and quality
             assurance programs.


             IAEA’s technical cooperation program provides nuclear technical assistance
Background   through projects that have three main components—equipment, expert

             4
              In 1996, the United States contributed about $99 million to IAEA. According to the U.S. Ambassador to
             the United Nations System Organizations in Vienna, Austria, this contribution included about
             $63 million to IAEA’s total regular budget of $219 million in 1996 and a voluntary contribution of
             $36 million, of which over $16 million was for the technical cooperation fund. As of February 1997, the
             United States had not yet made its 1997 payments to IAEA.



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                        services, and training activities (project- and non-project-related),
                        including fellowships, scientific visits, and training courses—that support
                        the upgrading or establishment, for peaceful purposes, of nuclear
                        techniques and facilities in IAEA member states. IAEA’s technical
                        cooperation program funds projects in 10 major program areas, including
                        the development of member states’ commercial nuclear power and nuclear
                        safety programs.5 Nuclear technical assistance projects are approved by
                        IAEA’s Board of Governors for a 2-year programming cycle, and member
                        states are required to submit written project proposals to IAEA 1 year
                        before the start of the programming cycle. These proposals are then
                        appraised for funding by IAEA staff and by the agency’s member states in
                        terms of technical and practical feasibility, national development
                        priorities, and long-term advantages to the recipient countries.

                        Within IAEA, the Department of Technical Cooperation and three other
                        technical departments—the departments of Research and Isotopes,
                        Nuclear Safety, and Nuclear Energy—are the main channels for
                        technology transfer activities within the technical cooperation program.
                        While the funding for IAEA’s technical cooperation program comes
                        primarily from member states’ voluntary contributions, the funding for
                        activities in the other three technical departments is through IAEA’s regular
                        budget. The United States contributes about 25 percent of IAEA’s regular
                        budget. In 1996, the United States’ contribution to IAEA’s regular budget of
                        $219 million was $63 million.


                        IAEA spent about $12 million on nuclear technical assistance projects for
Dollar Value and Type   Cuba from 1963—when Cuba started to receive nuclear technical
of All Nuclear          assistance from IAEA—through 1996, for equipment, expert services,
Technical Assistance    fellowships, scientific visits, and subcontracts (agreements between IAEA
                        and a third party to provide services to its member states). IAEA has
Projects IAEA           approved an additional $1.7 million in nuclear technical assistance
Provided for Cuba       projects for Cuba for 1997 through 1999. Over half of this additional
                        assistance will be provided for the application of isotopes and radiation in
                        medicine, industry, and hydrology.

                        In addition to the approximately $12 million for nuclear technical
                        assistance projects for Cuba, IAEA spent $2.39 million on regional and


                        5
                         The program areas classified by sector include general atomic energy development; nuclear physics;
                        nuclear chemistry; the prospecting, mining, and processing of nuclear materials; nuclear engineering
                        and technology; the application of isotopes and radiation in agriculture; the application of isotopes and
                        radiation in medicine; the application of isotopes and radiation in biology; the application of isotopes
                        and radiation in industry and hydrology; and safety in nuclear energy.



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interregional training courses for Cuban nationals. These courses were not
related to IAEA’s nuclear technical assistance projects. (This information
was available from IAEA only for 1980 through 1996.) Cuban nationals
attended IAEA training courses in radiation protection and nuclear safety,
probabilistic safety assessment, safety analysis and assessment techniques
for the operational safety of nuclear power plants, and quality assurance
for nuclear power plants. In addition, IAEA spent about $433,000 on
research contracts for Cuba. (This information was available from IAEA
only for 1989 through 1996.) Under IAEA’s research contract program, the
agency places contracts and cost-free agreements with research centers,
laboratories, universities, and other institutions in member states to
conduct research projects supporting its scientific programs.

As shown in figure 1, of the approximately $12 million for nuclear
technical assistance projects that Cuba received from 1963 through
1996—about $8.7 million—or almost three-fourths—consisted of
equipment, such as computer systems, and radiation-monitoring and
laboratory equipment.6 (App. I provides information on all nuclear
technical assistance projects that IAEA provided for Cuba, by program area,
from 1980 through 1996. Most of this assistance was provided in the areas
of general atomic energy development and in the application of isotopes
and radiation in agriculture).




6
 Cuba ranked 20th, in terms of the amount of assistance received, out of the 114 IAEA member states
receiving nuclear technical assistance during this period. Cuba is ranked against the other member
states that received equipment, expert services, fellowships and scientific visits, and subcontracts
during this period.



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Figure 1: Dollar Value and Type of All
Nuclear Technical Assistance Projects
IAEA Provided for Cuba, 1963 Through                                                          1%
1996, Dollars in Millions                                                                     Subcontracts ($0.11)


                                                                   10% •                      Expert services ($1.25)



                                                                         16% •                Fellowships/scientific visits ($1.92)




                                                  73%
                                                    •




                                                                                              Equipment ($8.72)



                                         Note: Figures in parenthesis have been rounded.

                                         Source: IAEA.



                                         While the costs of administration and related support for IAEA’s technical
Sources of Funding                       cooperation program are funded through IAEA’s regular budget, most of the
for All Nuclear                          funding for IAEA’s nuclear technical assistance projects comes from
Technical Assistance                     voluntary contributions made by the member states to IAEA’s technical
                                         cooperation fund. Some funding is also provided to IAEA from the United
Projects IAEA                            Nations Development Program (UNDP).7 Other sources of financial support
Provided for Cuba                        include extrabudgetary income, which is in addition to the funds donated
                                         to the technical cooperation fund and is contributed by member states for
                                         specific projects, and assistance-in-kind, which is provided by member
                                         states that donate equipment, provide expert services, or arrange
                                         fellowships on a cost-free basis.

                                         As shown in figure 2, IAEA’s technical cooperation fund was the primary
                                         source of funding for the nuclear technical assistance projects provided


                                         7
                                          IAEA is the executing agency for UNDP’s development projects in areas involving nuclear science and
                                         technology and receives UNDP funds for implementing such projects.



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                                        for Cuba, for equipment, expert services, fellowships, scientific visits, and
                                        subcontracts.


Figure 2: Sources of Funding for All
Nuclear Technical Assistance Projects
IAEA Provided for Cuba, 1963 Through                                                         1%
1996, Dollars in Millions                                                                    Member states ($0.15)
                                                                                             2%
                                                                                             In-kind ($0.20)



                                                                     19% •                   UNDP ($2.26)




                                                   78%
                                                     •




                                                                                             Technical cooperation fund ($9.38)



                                        Note: Figures in parenthesis have been rounded.

                                        Source: IAEA.




                                        In 1996, the United States voluntarily contributed $36 million to IAEA. Of
                                        this amount, the United States contributed over $16 million—about 30
                                        percent—of the total $53 million in the technical cooperation fund. (Cuba
                                        contributed its share of $45,150—or 0.07 percent—to the fund in 1996.)8
                                        From 1981 through 1993, the United States was required, under section
                                        307(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, to withhold a
                                        proportionate share of its voluntary contribution to the technical
                                        cooperation fund for Cuba, Libya, Iran, and the Palestine Liberation
                                        Organization because the fund provided assistance to these entities. The

                                        8
                                         IAEA determines the amount a member state should contribute to the fund on the basis of a United
                                        Nations formula. According to IAEA, from 1971 to 1996, Cuba contributed $653,525 to IAEA’s regular
                                        budget. From 1962 to 1996, Cuba also made voluntary contributions of $635,541 to the agency.



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                           United States withheld about 25 percent of its voluntary contribution to
                           the fund, which otherwise would have helped to fund projects for Cuba
                           and the other proscribed entities. On April 30, 1994, the Foreign Assistance
                           Act was amended, and Burma, Iraq, North Korea, and Syria were added to
                           the list of entities from which U.S. funds for certain programs sponsored
                           by international organizations were withheld. At the same time, IAEA and
                           the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) were exempted from the
                           withholding requirement. Consequently, as of 1994, the United States was
                           no longer required to withhold a portion of its voluntary contribution to
                           IAEA’s technical cooperation fund for any of these entities, including Cuba.
                           However, State Department officials continued to withhold funds in 1994
                           and 1995. But beginning in 1996, the United States no longer withheld any
                           of its voluntary contribution to the fund for these entities, including Cuba.
                           Because IAEA’s technical cooperation fund provides nuclear technical
                           assistance for Cuba, from 1981 through 1995, the United States withheld a
                           total of about $2 million that otherwise would have gone for nuclear
                           technical assistance for Cuba.


                           Of the total dollar value of all nuclear nuclear technical assistance projects
IAEA’s Nuclear             that IAEA has provided for Cuba, about $680,000 has been approved for
Technical Assistance       four nuclear technical assistance projects for Cuba’s nuclear power
Projects for Cuba’s        reactors from 1991 through 1998. As of January 1997, $313,364 of this
                           amount had been spent for two of these projects. State Department
Nuclear Power              officials told us that they did not object to these projects because the
Reactors and U.S.          United States generally supports nuclear safety assistance for IAEA member
                           states. Following is a summary of each of these projects. (See app. II for
Officials’ Views on        more details.)
This Assistance
                       •   Since 1991, IAEA has assisted Cuba in undertaking a safety assessment of
                           the reactors’ ability to respond to accidents and in conserving, or
                           “mothballing,” the nuclear power reactors while construction is
                           suspended. The agency had spent almost three-fourths of the
                           approximately $396,000 approved for the project, as of January 1997. Of
                           this amount, Spain has agreed to provide about $159,000 in extrabudgetary
                           funds. According to IAEA’s information on the technical cooperation
                           program for 1995 to 1996, this project is designed to develop proper safety
                           and emergency systems and to preserve the plant’s emergency work and
                           infrastructure in order to facilitate the resumption of the nuclear power
                           plant’s activities. Seven reports were prepared by IAEA experts under this
                           project that discuss the power plant’s ability to cope with a nuclear




                           Page 8                  GAO/RCED-97-72 IAEA’s Nuclear Technical Assistance for Cuba
                               B-276158




                               accident.9 Our requests to review or to be provided with copies of these
                               reports were denied by IAEA because information obtained by the agency
                               under a technical cooperation project is regarded as belonging to the
                               country receiving the project and cannot be divulged by IAEA without the
                               formal consent of the country’s government. At the time of our review, the
                               government of Cuba had not given IAEA permission to release these
                               reports.
                           •   Since 1995, IAEA has assisted Cuba in designing and implementing a
                               training program for personnel involved in the operational safety and
                               maintenance of all nuclear installations, including the reactors, in Cuba.
                               IAEA has spent about $31,000 of the about $74,000 approved for the project.
                               Furthermore, according to IAEA’s information on the technical cooperation
                               program for 1995 to 1996, this project will develop and implement an
                               adequate training program that will improve operational safety at all
                               nuclear installations in Cuba and will promote a safety culture.
                           •   For the 1997 to 1998 technical cooperation program, IAEA has approved
                               two new projects to assist in licensing the reactors and establishing a
                               quality assurance program for them. Funding of about $210,000 has been
                               approved for these two projects. According to IAEA’s information on the
                               technical cooperation program for 1997 to 1998, the objective of the
                               licensing project is to strengthen the ability of Cuba’s nuclear regulatory
                               body to carry out the process of licensing the reactors. According to IAEA’s
                               information, the quality assurance project will assist the nuclear power
                               plant in developing an effective program that will improve safety and
                               lower construction costs.


U.S. Officials’ Views on       In our September 1992 report and in our August 1995 testimony on the
IAEA’s Nuclear Technical       nuclear power reactors in Cuba, we reported that the United States
Assistance Projects for        preferred that the reactors not be completed and discouraged other
                               countries from providing assistance, except for safety purposes, to Cuba’s
Cuba’s Nuclear Power           nuclear power program. In a statement made at the August 1995 hearing,
Reactors                       the State Department’s Director of the Office of Nuclear Energy Affairs
                               agreed that the United States supported efforts by IAEA to improve safety
                               and the quality of construction at the facility but that the administration
                               strongly believed that sales or assistance to the Cuban nuclear program
                               should not be provided until Cuba had undertaken a legally binding
                               nonproliferation commitment. Cuba is not a party to the 1970 Treaty on


                               9
                                The seven expert reports prepared under this project include the following: Thermo-Hydraulic
                               Analysis of Design Basis Accident (1991), Safety Analysis Program Review (1991), Level 1 Probabilistic
                               Safety Assessment (1992), Preservation of the Juragua NPP (1993), Upgrading Regulatory
                               Infrastructure (1995), Upgrading Regulatory Infrastructure (1995), and Developing National
                               Emergency Plant and Response Capability (1996).



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                  Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, but as a member of IAEA, it is
                  entitled to receive nuclear technical assistance from the agency.10

                  State Department officials responsible for IAEA’s technical cooperation
                  program and U.S. Mission officials at the United Nations System
                  Organizations in Vienna, Austria, told us that they did not object to IAEA’s
                  providing nuclear safety assistance to Cuba’s reactors because the United
                  States generally supports nuclear safety assistance for IAEA member states
                  that will promote the establishment of a safety culture and quality
                  assurance programs. These U.S. officials also said that the United States
                  has little control over other IAEA member states that choose to provide
                  extrabudgetary funds for any of the agency’s nuclear technical assistance
                  projects, including those in Cuba. State Department and Arms Control and
                  Disarmament Agency officials told us that the United States will not
                  provide extrabudgetary funds for IAEA’s nuclear technical assistance
                  projects with Cuba or generally to other IAEA member states that are not
                  parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, will not host Cuban nationals at
                  training courses held by IAEA in the United States, or select Cuban
                  nationals for training as IAEA fellows in the United States. However,
                  according to the State Department, U.S. experts are allowed to work on
                  IAEA’s nuclear technical assistance projects in the areas of nuclear safety
                  and physical protection for Cuba. We found that one U.S. expert had
                  visited Cuba three times to help with an IAEA nuclear technical assistance
                  project designed to eradicate agricultural pests.


                  We provided copies of a draft of this report to the Department of State for
Agency Comments   its review and comment. The Department obtained and consolidated
                  additional comments from the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; the
                  Department of Energy; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; the U.S.
                  Mission to the United Nations System Organizations and IAEA in Vienna,
                  Austria. On March 5, 1997, we met with an official in the State
                  Department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs to discuss the
                  consolidated comments. In general, reviewing officials agreed with the
                  facts and analysis presented. Additional clarifying information was
                  provided, and we revised the text as appropriate. An IAEA official in the


                  10
                    Cuba signed the Treaty of Tlatelolco in March 1995 but has not ratified it. Both the Non-Proliferation
                  Treaty and the Treaty of Tlatelolco bind signatories to blanket nonproliferation agreements for their
                  entire nuclear program and would require inspections of all of Cuba’s nuclear facilities by IAEA,
                  known as full-scope safeguards. According to the State Department, despite Cuba’s failure to accept
                  IAEA’s full-scope safeguards, all of Cuba’s nuclear facilities are subject to safeguards under separate,
                  legally binding agreements between IAEA and Cuba. Cuba also signed a revised supplementary
                  agreement with IAEA on July 13, 1993, which obligates Cuba to use IAEA’s nuclear technical
                  assistance only for the peaceful applications of atomic energy.



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              Department of Technical Cooperation noted that, in assessing the safety
              and planning for the conservation of Cuba’s nuclear power reactors while
              their construction is suspended, IAEA’s role in the area of nuclear power is
              to assist governments in taking actions that are consistent with the highest
              standards and best practices involving the design, performance, and safety
              of nuclear facilities.


              We discussed the United States’ participation in IAEA’s technical
Scope and     cooperation program with officials of and gathered data from the
Methodology   Departments of State and Energy; the Arms Control and Disarmament
              Agency; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Argonne National
              Laboratory; the National Academy of Sciences; and the National Research
              Council in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations
              System Organizations and IAEA in Vienna, Austria. We gathered data from
              IAEA on its nuclear technical assistance for Cuba, during the period from
              1958, when the technical cooperation program began, until 1996. In some
              cases, funding data for the entire period from 1958 through 1996 was not
              available from IAEA. Cuba started to receive nuclear technical assistance
              from IAEA in 1963.

              We also met with officials in IAEA’s departments of Technical Cooperation
              and Nuclear Safety who are responsible for managing IAEA’s nuclear
              nuclear technical assistance projects for Cuba’s nuclear power reactors
              and with the Vice Minister, Ministry of the Russian Federation for Atomic
              Energy, to discuss Russia’s plans to complete the Cuban reactors.

              As agreed with your offices, in a forthcoming report we plan to discuss,
              among other things, the United States’ participation in IAEA’s technical
              cooperation program and information on the dollar value and type of
              nuclear nuclear technical assistance provided to the agency’s member
              states.

              We performed our work from November 1996 through March 1997 in
              accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




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We are sending copies of this report to the Secretaries of State and Energy,
the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Director of the
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and other interested parties. We
will also make copies available to others on request. Please call me at
(202) 512-3600 if you or your staff have any questions. Major contributors
to this report are listed in appendix III.




Allen Li
Associate Director, Energy,
  Resources, and Science Issues




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Page 13   GAO/RCED-97-72 IAEA’s Nuclear Technical Assistance for Cuba
Contents



Letter                                                                                                  1


Appendix I                                                                                             16

International Atomic
Energy Agency’s
Nuclear Technical
Assistance Projects
Provided for Cuba, by
Program Area
Appendix II                                                                                            17
                        Nuclear Power Plant Safety Assessment and Program Suspension                   17
International Atomic       Plan Project
Energy Agency’s         Training in the Operational Safety of Nuclear Installations Project            18
                        Licensing of Cuba’s Nuclear Power Plant Project                                19
Nuclear Technical       Quality Assurance Program for Cuba’s Nuclear Power Plant                       19
Assistance Projects        Project
for Cuba’s Nuclear
Power Reactors
Appendix III                                                                                           20

Major Contributors to
This Report
Related GAO Products                                                                                   24


Tables                  Table II.1: Expenditures for the Nuclear Power Plant Safety                    18
                          Assessment and Program Suspension Plan Project, 1991 Through
                          1996, as of January 1997
                        Table II.2: Expenditures for Training in the Operational Safety of             18
                          Nuclear Installations Project, 1995 Through 1996, as of
                          January 1997


Figures                 Figure 1: Dollar Value and Type of All Nuclear Technical                        6
                          Assistance Projects IAEA Provided for Cuba, 1963 Through 1996,
                          Dollars in millions




                        Page 14                GAO/RCED-97-72 IAEA’s Nuclear Technical Assistance for Cuba
Contents




Figure 2: Sources of Funding for All Nuclear Technical                         7
  Assistance Projects IAEA Provided for Cuba, 1963 Through 1996,
  Dollars in millions
Figure I.1: All Nuclear Technical Assistance Projects IAEA                    16
  Provided for Cuba, by Program Area, 1980 Through 1996




Abbreviations

GAO        General Accounting Office
IAEA       International Atomic Energy Agency
UNDP       United Nations Development Program
UNICEF     United Nations Children’s Fund


Page 15               GAO/RCED-97-72 IAEA’s Nuclear Technical Assistance for Cuba
Appendix I

International Atomic Energy Agency’s
Nuclear Technical Assistance Projects
Provided for Cuba, by Program Area
                                        As shown in figure I.1, almost half—about $5 million—of the $10.4 million
                                        that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) spent for nuclear
                                        nuclear technical assistance projects for Cuba from 1980 through 1996 was
                                        provided in the areas of general atomic energy development and in the
                                        application of isotopes and radiation in agriculture.1 Nuclear safety was
                                        the next largest program area; over 12 percent of the funds, or over
                                        $1.2 million, went for nuclear technical assistance projects in this area.


Figure I.1: All Nuclear Technical
Assistance Projects IAEA Provided for
Cuba, by Program Area, 1980 Through
1996




                                                              22%                    27%                      General atomic energy
                                                                                                              development



                                                                                                              Application of isotopes and
                                                                                                 3%           radiation in biology
                                                          12%                                 5%              Application of isotopes and
                                                                                                              radiation in medicine
                                                                                            5%                Nuclear engineering and technology
                                                                 10%
                                                                                       6%                     Nuclear chemistry
                                                                             10%




                                                                                                              Application of isotopes and radiation in
                                                                                                              industry and hydrology

                                                                                                              Nuclear physics

                                                                                                              Safety in nuclear energy

                                                                                                              Application of isotopes and
                                                                                                              radiation in agriculture



                                        Source: IAEA.




                                        1
                                         IAEA was not able to provide us with data for years prior to 1980.



                                        Page 16                         GAO/RCED-97-72 IAEA’s Nuclear Technical Assistance for Cuba
Appendix II

International Atomic Energy Agency’s
Nuclear Technical Assistance Projects for
Cuba’s Nuclear Power Reactors
                      Of the total dollar value of all nuclear nuclear technical assistance projects
                      that IAEA has provided for Cuba, about $680,000 has been approved for
                      four nuclear technical assistance projects for Cuba’s nuclear power
                      reactors from 1991 through 1998. As of January 1997, $313,364 of this
                      amount had been spent for two of these projects. IAEA’s four nuclear
                      technical assistance projects for Cuba’s nuclear power reactors include
                      (1) a safety assessment and a plan for conserving the nuclear power plant
                      during the suspension of its construction; (2) training in the safe operation
                      of nuclear installations, including the power plant; (3) helping Cuba’s
                      regulatory body develop a process for licensing the power plant; and
                      (4) developing a quality assurance program for the power plant.


                      This ongoing project was originally approved in 1991 to develop the ability
Nuclear Power Plant   to undertake a safety assessment of Cuba’s nuclear power plant program.
Safety Assessment     In 1995, this project was expanded to, among other things, develop the
and Program           ability to conduct a safety assessment of the nuclear power plant and to
                      provide supervision and advice in the conservation, or “mothballing”, of
Suspension Plan       the nuclear power plant during the suspension of construction. According
Project               to IAEA’s project summaries for the technical cooperation program for 1995
                      to 1996, this project is designed to develop proper safety and emergency
                      systems and to preserve the plant’s emergency work and infrastructure in
                      order to facilitate the resumption of the nuclear power plant’s activities. A
                      Spanish firm that provides architectural and engineering services is
                      assisting IAEA in providing supervision and advice for the implementation
                      of a plan to suspend the program and is training the Cuban technical staff
                      in conducting a probabilistic safety assessment of the plant. Activities
                      undertaken by the Spanish firm at the plant include the conservation and
                      protection of existing structures, equipment, and components, in order to
                      keep them in the best possible state for future use when the project and
                      the construction of the plant are restarted.

                      Under this project, IAEA has provided experts on regulation, licensing, and
                      emergency planning; equipment, such as personal computers, software,
                      printers; and training in inspections and emergency planning. As of
                      January 1997, IAEA had spent over $282,000 of the approved $395,837
                      budget, as shown in table II.1 below. Spain also provided extrabudgetary
                      funds for this project. IAEA has spent about $113,000 of the approximately
                      $159,000 that Spain has offered to provide for this project.




                      Page 17                 GAO/RCED-97-72 IAEA’s Nuclear Technical Assistance for Cuba
                                           Appendix II
                                           International Atomic Energy Agency’s
                                           Nuclear Technical Assistance Projects for
                                           Cuba’s Nuclear Power Reactors




Table II.1: Expenditures for the Nuclear
Power Plant Safety Assessment and          Dollars in thousands
Program Suspension Plan Project,                               Expert
1991 Through 1996, as of January 1997      Year              services     Equipment         Fellowships     Subcontractsa          Total
                                           1991               $10,361          $7,527                   0                   0    $17,889
                                           1992                12,385           7,330           $16,587                     0     36,303
                                           1993                  4,137         18,965             15,074                    0     38,177
                                           1994                  1,517                0            4,963           $73,922        80,403
                                           1995                20,111          10,035              7,547                    0     37,694
                                           1996                      0                0           33,202            38,960        72,162
                                           Total              $48,514         $43,859           $77,375           $112,883      $282,632
                                           Note: Totals may not add because of rounding.
                                           a
                                               Includes expenditures made under a subcontract between IAEA and Spain.

                                           Source: IAEA.




                                           According to IAEA’s project summaries for the technical cooperation
Training in the                            program for 1995 to 1996, this ongoing project is intended to design and
Operational Safety of                      implement a training program for personnel involved in the operational
Nuclear Installations                      safety and maintenance of nuclear installations, including the nuclear
                                           power plant. Even though the construction of Cuba’s nuclear power plant
Project                                    was suspended, according to IAEA’s project summaries, Cuba requested
                                           assistance to train personnel involved in the operational safety of nuclear
                                           installations. IAEA is assisting in designing a training program that will
                                           include the development of computerized systems for instruction,
                                           simulation, evaluation, and certification of staff. As of January 1997, IAEA
                                           had spent about $31,000 of the approved $73,926 for the project, as shown
                                           in table II.2.

Table II.2: Expenditures for Training in
the Operational Safety of Nuclear          Dollars in thousands
Installations Project, 1995 Through        Year                   Expert services          Equipment        Fellowships            Total
1996, as of January 1997
                                           1995                             $6,980           $11,690                    0        $18,670
                                           1996                                   0                 0           $12,062           12,062
                                           Total                            $6,980           $11,690            $12,062          $30,732
                                           Note: Totals may not add because of rounding.

                                           Source: IAEA.




                                           Page 18                         GAO/RCED-97-72 IAEA’s Nuclear Technical Assistance for Cuba
                      Appendix II
                      International Atomic Energy Agency’s
                      Nuclear Technical Assistance Projects for
                      Cuba’s Nuclear Power Reactors




                      According to IAEA’s project summaries for the technical cooperation
Licensing of Cuba’s   program for 1997 to 1998, the objective of this new project is to strengthen
Nuclear Power Plant   the ability of Cuba’s nuclear regulatory body to carry out the process of
Project               licensing the nuclear power plant. IAEA’s Board of Governors approved this
                      project in December 1996 for a budget of $107,000 for 1997 through 1998.
                      According to IAEA’s project summaries, Cuba’s nuclear regulatory body
                      asked the agency to help it acquire the ability to review the safety of the
                      nuclear power plant as a preliminary step in the licensing process. In
                      addition, Cuba has asked IAEA to assist its nuclear regulatory body in
                      adopting the best international practices on licensing for the latest design
                      of the VVER 440 megawatt reactors. According to IAEA’s project
                      summaries, the project is designed to provide Cuba’s nuclear regulatory
                      body with the technology needed to be effective and self-sufficient and to
                      promote the safe development of nuclear energy as a contribution to
                      meeting Cuba’s energy needs.


                      According to IAEA’s project summaries for the technical cooperation
Quality Assurance     program for 1997 to 1998, the objective of this new project is to improve
Program for Cuba’s    and revise the structure, integration, and efficiency of the quality
Nuclear Power Plant   assurance program for Cuba’s nuclear power plant and to evaluate its
                      effectiveness and propose corrective measures. Cuba requested IAEA’s
Project               assistance to establish a quality assurance program to conform with IAEA’s
                      nuclear safety standards. IAEA’s Board of Governors approved this project
                      in December 1996 for a budget of $103,150 for 1997 through 1998. The aim
                      of this project, as discussed in IAEA’s project summaries, is to achieve
                      adequate levels of reliability and efficiency in documentation, including
                      the elaboration and preservation of quality assurance records; to provide
                      practical experience for quality assurance and management personnel; and
                      to improve the training of quality control and inspection staff, including
                      training in nondestructive testing and other modern technologies.
                      According to IAEA’s project summaries, this project will provide the
                      nuclear power plant with an effective quality assurance program that will
                      improve the plant’s safety and lower construction costs.




                      Page 19                     GAO/RCED-97-72 IAEA’s Nuclear Technical Assistance for Cuba
Appendix III

Major Contributors to This Report


                        Gene Aloise, Assistant Director
Resources,              Sarah E. Veale, Evaluator-in-Charge
Community, and          Mario Zavala, Senior Evaluator
Economic                Daniel Semick, Senior Evaluator
                        Duane G. Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Nuclear Engineer
Development
Division, Washington,
D.C.
                        Jackie A. Goff, Senior Attorney
Office of General
Counsel




                        Page 20                GAO/RCED-97-72 IAEA’s Nuclear Technical Assistance for Cuba
Page 21   GAO/RCED-97-72 IAEA’s Nuclear Technical Assistance for Cuba
Page 22   GAO/RCED-97-72 IAEA’s Nuclear Technical Assistance for Cuba
Page 23   GAO/RCED-97-72 IAEA’s Nuclear Technical Assistance for Cuba
Related GAO Products


              Nuclear Safety: Uncertainties About the Implementation and Costs of the
              Nuclear Safety Convention (GAO/RCED-97-39, Jan. 2, 1997).

              Nuclear Safety: Status of U.S. Assistance to Improve the Safety of
              Soviet-Designed Reactors (GAO/RCED-97-5, Oct. 29, 1996).

              Nuclear Safety: Concerns With the Nuclear Power Reactors in Cuba
              (GAO/T-RCED-95-236, Aug. 1, 1995).

              Nuclear Safety: U.S. Assistance to Upgrade Soviet-Designed Nuclear
              Reactors in the Czech Republic (GAO/RCED-95-157, June 28, 1995).

              Nuclear Safety: International Assistance Efforts to Make Soviet-Designed
              Reactors Safer (GAO/RCED-94-234, Sept. 29, 1994).

              Nuclear Safety: Progress Toward Internatinal Agreement to Improve
              Reactor Safety (GAO/RCED-93-153, May 14, 1993).

              Nuclear Nonproliferation and Safety: Challenges Facing the International
              Atomic Energy Agency (GAO/NSIAD/RCED-93-284, Sept. 22, 1993).

              Nuclear Safety: Concerns About the Nuclear Power Reactors in Cuba
              (GAO/RCED-92-262, Sept. 24, 1992).

              Nuclear Power Safety: Chernobyl Accident Prompted Worldwide Actions
              but Further Efforts Needed (GAO/NSIAD-92-28, Nov. 4, 1991).

              Nuclear Power Safety: International Measures in Response to Chernobyl
              Accident (GAO/NSIAD-88-131BR, Apr. 8, 1988).

              Nuclear Safety: Comparison of DOE’s Hanford N-Reactor With the
              Chernobyl Reactor (GAO/RCED-86-213BR, Aug. 5, 1986).




(141026)      Page 24                GAO/RCED-97-72 IAEA’s Nuclear Technical Assistance for Cuba
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