Key findings

  • A multi-billion dollar nuclear fuel plant being built by the Energy Department in South Carolina has become an embarrassing symbol of government mismanagement, plagued by long delays, wasteful spending, and construction snafus.
  • Officials in Washington initially paid little attention to the plant’s construction, despite the project’s size, its importance to U.S. nonproliferation goals, and a total cost projected to exceed $18 billion.
  • Mismanagement and improper contracting practices cost the government more than $1.38 billion in avoidable expenses.
  • The prospects for selling the plant’s plutonium-laced fuel to domestic nuclear power plants appear dim, and at best the government might recoup just 10 percent of its investment.