November 28, 2000

Containers Suitable for Shipping Fissile Material

As a result of its weapons program activities, the Department of Energy (Department) has a significant inventory of surplus fissile materials. Within the Department, the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Office of Environmental Management are responsible for managing this inventory, including its protection and disposal. To accomplish these objectives, the Department has established a program to ship the fissile materials, including surplus pits and plutonium metals, oxides, fluorides, and residues, from several Department facilities to a final designated disposition location. The various fissile materials are to be shipped in Type B containers certified by the Department or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or under an exemption as duly granted by the appropriate Federal agency. The objective of this audit was to determine whether the Department has containers suitable for shipping its surplus fissile material.