Expert Reports

These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review.

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Best Practices for Risk-Informed Decision Making Regarding Contaminated Sites: Summary of a Workshop Series (2014)

During the Second World War and the ensuing Cold War, the United States created a massive industrial complex to produce nuclear materials and weapons for national defense. The activities also produced large quantities of radioactive and hazardous wastes that resulted in widespread groundwater and soil contamination. In 1989, the Office of Environmental Management (EM) was created within the Department of Energy, with the mission of the saf... More >>

Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants (2014)

A new congressionally mandated report from the National Academy of Sciences examines the causes of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant initiated by the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami and identifies lessons learned for improving nuclear plant safety and offsite emergency responses to nuclear plant accidents in the United States. The overarching lesson learned is is that nuclear plant licensees and thei... More >>

Report in Brief

Performance Metrics for the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture (2013)

This report provides advice on how to better evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture, a worldwide network of sensors, telecommunications and personnel that serves to deter and detect attempts to unlawfully transport radiological or nuclear material. The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office within the Department of Homeland Security, together with several federal partners, is responsible for reportin... More >>

Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles (2013)

The material that sustains the nuclear reactions that produce energy can also be used to make nuclear weapons—and therefore, the development of nuclear energy is one of multiple pathways to proliferation for a non-nuclear weapon state. There is a tension between the development of future nuclear fuel cycles and managing the risk of proliferation as the number of existing and future nuclear energy systems expands throughout the world. As th... More >>

Analysis of Cancer Risks in Populations near Nuclear Facilities: Phase 1 (2012)

Report in Brief >> The question of whether there are cancer risks associated with living near a nuclear facility is of great interest to the public, especially those living closest to the facilities. Airborne and waterborne emissions of radioactive materials from the facilities’ normal operations (called effluents) can expose nearby populations to ionizing radiation, which could elevate the risk of cancer in the exposed populations. The firs... More >>

Report in Brief