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GAO: NNSA Should Consistently Monitor and Document R&D Projects

The Government Accountability Office has recommended that the National Nuclear Security Administration create a strategy to consistently track and document outcomes of research-and-development projects aimed at thwarting the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

GAO said in a report published Friday NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation should record data that compares final project results with baseline performance targets.

Auditors found that the NNSA was not able to track the advanced, transitioned or deployed status of DNN Research and Development- and Nonproliferation and Arms Control projects.

The audit agency also discovered that 88 out of 91 sampled projects were able to develop instrument hardware or models for data analysis and 33 of the 88 projects created technologies that passed to the “transitioned” phase that includes software for nuclear detonation analysis.

GAO added that 17 projects also resulted in deployed technologies such as an enrichment monitoring tool which was utilized in Iran and space-based nuclear detonation sensors.

NNSA officials also did not document assessments of performance against baseline targets and no common template for final projects reports have been established, according to GAO.

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