Nuclear Nonproliferation: Licensing Procedures for Dual-Use Exports Need Strengthening - GAO Report
|Date:||May 17, 1994|
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Dept. of Commerce Nuclear Non-Proliferation Special Country List
Dept. of Commerce Nuclear Referral List
Iraq's use of so-called dual-use equipment--items with civilian uses that can also be used to build nuclear explosives or produce weapons grade uranium and plutonium--has raised concerns about the effectiveness of export controls over this material. The United States approved more than 1,500 licenses for dual-use items, mainly high-speed computers, to eight countries with suspected nuclear weapons programs, significantly increasing the risk that U.S. exports are fueling nuclear proliferation. Weaknesses in the interagency licensing review process have resulted in the approval of a number of sensitive license applications without review by the Energy Department or other members of the Subgroup on Nuclear Export Coordination, an interagency group. U.S. government approval of sensitive exports dictates the need for effective ways to prevent or detect export diversions, but GAO discovered several weaknesses in current procedures. These include (1) inadequate criteria for selecting prelicense checks and postshipment verifications, (2) ineffective methods used to do these inspections, and (3) a lack of verification of government-to-government assurances against unclear end uses.