Offices (1 - 10 of 108 items)
Advanced Technologies: Strengthened Federal Approach Needed to Help Identify and Mitigate Supply Risks for Critical Raw Materials
GAO-16-699: Published: Sep 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 3, 2016.
Federal agencies are primarily focused on two areas of activity related to critical materials supply—assessing risk and supporting research. For example, the Department of Energy (DOE) has conducted two criticality assessments on materials important to clean energy applications and manages the Critical Materials Institute—a 5-year, $120 million investment aimed at mitigating risks by diversify...
Nuclear Weapons: DOD Assessed the Need for Each Leg of the Strategic Triad and Considered Other Reductions to Nuclear Forces
GAO-16-740: Published: Sep 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 2016.
The Department of Defense (DOD) assessed the need for each leg of the strategic triad in support of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review and considered other reductions to nuclear forces in subsequent reviews. The department identified advantages of each leg of the triad and concluded that retaining all three would help maintain strategic deterrence and stability. The advantages DOD identified include...
Nuclear Weapons: NNSA Should Evaluate the Role of the Enhanced Surveillance Program in Assessing the Condition of the U.S. Nuclear Stockpile
GAO-16-549: Published: Sep 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2016.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) did not fully implement the Enhanced Surveillance Program as envisioned in the agency's 2007 Surveillance Transformation Project (2007 initiative) and has not developed a long-term strategy for the program. Surveillance is the process of inspecting a weapon through various tests of the weapon as a whole, the weapon's...
Nuclear Supply Chain: DOE Should Assess Circumstances for Using Enhanced Procurement Authority to Manage Risk
GAO-16-710: Published: Aug 11, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 2016.
As of May 2016, the Secretary of Energy had not used the enhanced procurement authority, and the Department of Energy (DOE) had not developed processes for using the authority, as it had not fully assessed the circumstances under which the authority might be useful. To use the authority, the Secretary must be made aware of a supply chain risk by officials from DOE or its semiautonomous National Nu...
Department of Energy: Whistleblower Protections Need Strengthening
GAO-16-618: Published: Jul 11, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2016.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has used a combination of independent reviews and contractor self-assessments to evaluate the openness of the environment for raising safety and other concerns. The independent reviews, which were methodologically sound and consistently applied, revealed problems with the environment for raising concerns. In contrast, many self-assessments used flawed and inconsisten...
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board: Improvements Needed to Strengthen Internal Control and Promote Transparency [Reissued on March 2, 2015]
GAO-15-181: Published: Jan 20, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 19, 2015.
Until 2013, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) had few written policies and procedures for its Board members and technical staff work, and some policies and procedures recently developed for the Board were not consistently followed. For example, Board procedures call for the Board to approve and implement an annual resource plan that would prioritize DNFSB's work for the coming ye...
Department of Energy: Interagency Review Needed to Update U.S. Position on Enriched Uranium That Can Be Used for Tritium Production
GAO-15-123: Published: Oct 14, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 14, 2014.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has adhered to its practice of using only unobligated low-enriched uranium (LEU) to meet national security needs for tritium—a radioactive isotope of hydrogen used to enhance the power of U.S. nuclear weapons. LEU is considered unobligated when neither the uranium nor the technology used to enrich it carries an “obligation” from a foreign country requiring that...
National Laboratories: DOE Needs to Improve Oversight of Work Performed for Non-DOE Entities
GAO-14-78: Published: Oct 25, 2013. Publicly Released: Nov 25, 2013.
In fiscal years 2008 through 2012, the Department of Energy (DOE) performed about $2 billion annually of Work for Others (WFO) projects, as measured by the costs incurred. Although the amount of WFO performed has remained relatively constant over the last 5 years overall, WFO as a percentage of the total work performed at the laboratories--measured in total laboratory costs incurred--has declined...
National Nuclear Security Administration: Laboratories' Indirect Cost Management Has Improved, but Additional Opportunities Exist
GAO-13-534: Published: Jun 28, 2013. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 2013.
The National Nuclear Security Administrations (NNSA) management and operating (M&O) contractors differ in how they classify and allocate indirect costs at NNSA laboratories. Although different approaches are allowed by Cost Accounting Standards, these differences limit the ability to compare program costs across the laboratories. Recognizing the limitations of its current cost data, the Departme...
Cybersecurity: Challenges in Securing the Electricity Grid
GAO-12-926T: Published: Jul 17, 2012. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 2012.
The threats to systems supporting critical infrastructures are evolving and growing. In testimony, the Director of National Intelligence noted a dramatic increase in cyber activity targeting U.S. computers and systems, including a more than tripling of the volume of malicious software. Varying types of threats from numerous sources can adversely affect computers, software, networks, organizations,...