Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Oversight of Underground Piping Systems Commensurate with Risk, but Proactive Measures Could Help Address Future Leaks [open pdf - 3MB]
"All U.S. nuclear power plant sites have had some groundwater contamination from radioactive leaks, and some of these leaks came from underground piping systems. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulates nuclear power plants to protect public health and the environment from radiation hazards. Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to (1) determine experts' opinions on the impacts, if any, of underground piping system leaks on public health and the environment; (2) assess NRC requirements of licensees for inspecting these systems and monitoring and reporting on leaks; (3) identify actions the nuclear power industry, licensees, and NRC have taken in response to leaks; and (4) identify additional NRC requirements, if any, that key stakeholders think could help prevent, detect, and disclose leaks. GAO convened expert discussion groups through the National Academy of Sciences and asked experts to review three case studies, analyzed documents, visited seven plant sites and two NRC regional offices, and interviewed stakeholders."
Government Accountability Office: http://gao.gov