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Energy (81 - 90 of 2,521 items)
Project and Program Management: DOE Needs to Revise Requirements and Guidance for Cost Estimating and Related Reviews
GAO-15-29: Published: Nov 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 25, 2014.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) and its National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) cost estimating requirements and guidance for projects and programs do not fully reflect best practices for developing cost estimates. In regard to cost estimating requirements for projects, DOE's 2010 project management order requires 1 of the 12 cost estimating best practices—conducting an independent co...
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...
Nuclear Commerce: Additional Actions Needed to Improve DOE's Export Control Process
GAO-15-124: Published: Oct 14, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 14, 2014.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has consistently missed its 30-day targets for the initial and interagency stages of the Part 810 review process (see table). From 2008 through 2013, DOE missed the target for the initial review stage for 80 of 89 applications processed, and interagency review times missed DOE's 30-day target for 85 applications. DOE has not established a target for the entire final...
Spent Nuclear Fuel Management: Outreach Needed to Help Gain Public Acceptance for Federal Activities That Address Liability
GAO-15-141: Published: Oct 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 12, 2014.
Spent nuclear fuel—the used fuel removed from nuclear power reactors—is expected to accumulate at an average rate of about 2,200 metric tons per year in the United States. This spent nuclear fuel is mostly stored wet, submerged in pools of water. However, since pools have been reaching their capacities, owners and generators of spent nuclear fuel (typically utilities and reactor operators) hav...
Energy Policy: Information on Federal and Other Factors Influencing U.S. Energy Production and Consumption from 2000 through 2013
GAO-14-836: Published: Sep 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 2014.
According to the studies and reports GAO reviewed, several major factors, including federal activities, influenced U.S. production and consumption of fossil, nuclear, and renewable energy from 2000 through 2013. Examples of these factors include the following:Fossil energy. Advances in drilling technologies enabled economic production of natural gas and crude oil from shale and similar geological...
Changing Crude Oil Markets: Allowing Exports Could Reduce Consumer Fuel Prices, and the Size of the Strategic Reserves Should Be Reexamined
GAO-14-807: Published: Sep 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 2014.
The studies GAO reviewed and stakeholders interviewed suggest that removing crude oil export restrictions is likely to increase domestic crude oil prices but decrease consumer fuel prices. Prices for some U.S. crude oils are lower than international prices—for example, one benchmark U.S. crude oil averaged $101 per barrel in 2014, while a comparable international crude oil averaged $109. Studies...
Nuclear Weapons: Some Actions Have Been Taken to Address Challenges with the Uranium Processing Facility Design
GAO-15-126: Published: Oct 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 10, 2014.
In January 2013, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) completed a review to identify the factors that contributed to the space/fit issue with the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF), and identified a number of factors within both NNSA and the contractor managing the UPF design at that time. NNSA's review identified shortcomings in 1) federal oversight of the project, 2) design integra...
Natural Gas: Federal Approval Process for Liquefied Natural Gas Exports
GAO-14-762: Published: Sep 26, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 1, 2014.
Since 2010, of 35 applications it has received that require a public interest review, the Department of Energy (DOE) has approved 3 applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 6 applications are conditionally approved with final approval contingent on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) issuance of a satisfactory environmental review of the export facility. DOE considers a...
Aviation: Impact of Fuel Price Increases on the Aviation Industry
GAO-14-331: Published: Sep 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 2014.
Commercial passenger airlines have taken a number of steps aimed at mitigating the financial impact of the increases in fuel prices since 2002, according to aviation associations and government officials. Some airlines restrained the growth of their domestic seat capacity, others have reconfigured their fleets to make them more fuel efficient, conducted flight and ground operations more efficientl...
Drinking Water: Characterization of Injected Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production
GAO-14-857R: Published: Sep 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 23, 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program, including oversight and regulation of injection wells associated with oil and gas production called class II wells. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, these wells are subject to regulation to protect underground drinking water sources. EPA has approved 39 states to manage their own class II well pro...