In 1982, Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Act, which allowed for temporary storage of up to 1900 tons of spent fuel off site, to lessen the threat around nuclear plants. Despite the heightened awareness in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the presence of man-made radiation in the environment increased, raising the potential for harm to humans. The US General Accounting Office, acting on a request from Senator John Glenn, found that between 1969 and 1980, the average rems absorbed by nuclear workers in a typical reactor rose from 178 to 791. Even more incriminating evidence was uncovered by the National Cancer Institute in its 1990 analysis of cancer mortality near nuclear power facilities. By the early 1990s, the American nuclear weapons program was in a sorry state. The Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, which has operated a research reactor for the Energy Department since 1950, ran into trouble in 1997.