Energy Department Never Blacklists Risky Nuclear Tech Vendors, GAO Says
Even though the US Secretary of Energy has the authority to ban nuclear tech vendors that “present a significant supply chain risk,” the Energy Department has not blacklisted a single risky vendor since it was granted this authority by Congress in 2013. An audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) points to legal restrictions and red tape as the main reasons for this inaction.
The GAO concludes that legal amendments are necessary to streamline the blacklisting process. In the absence of action by Congress, adversaries can take advantage of the stats quo by “introduc[ing] into the components malicious code or malware that could … undermin[e] confidence in the nuclear weapons systems and their operational effectiveness,” the report warns.