Natural resources (31 - 40 of 305 items)
EPA Regulations and Electricity: Update on Agencies' Monitoring Efforts and Coal-Fueled Generating Unit Retirements
GAO-14-672: Published: Aug 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 2014.
The Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) have taken initial steps to implement a recommendation GAO made in 2012 that these agencies develop and document a joint process to monitor industry's progress in responding to four proposed or finalized EPA regulations affecting coal-fueled generating units. GAO concluded...
Drinking Water: EPA Program to Protect Underground Sources from Injection of Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production Needs Improvement
GAO-14-555: Published: Jun 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) role in the Underground Injection Control (UIC) class II program is to oversee and enforce fluid injection into wells associated with oil and gas production, known as class II wells. EPA has approved 39 states to manage their own class II programs, and EPA regions are responsible for managing the programs in remaining states. EPA regions and states use a...
National Nuclear Security Administration: Agency Expanded Use of Some Federal Oversight Reforms, but Is Still Determining Future Plans
GAO-14-588: Published: Jul 17, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 2014.
Key reforms at the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Kansas City Plant (KCP)—a site in Missouri that manufactures electronic and other nonnuclear components of nuclear weapons—included (1) streamlining operating requirements by replacing Department of Energy (DOE) requirements with industry standards, where appropriate; (2) refocusing federal oversight to rely on contractor per...
Fusion Energy: Observations on DOE's Cost and Schedule Estimates for U.S. Contributions to an International Experimental Reactor
GAO-14-750T: Published: Jul 11, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 11, 2014.
Since the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Agreement was signed in 2006, the Department of Energy's (DOE) estimated cost for the U.S. portion of ITER has grown by almost $3 billion, and its estimated completion date has slipped by 20 years. DOE has identified several reasons for the changes, such as increases in hardware cost estimates as designs and requirements have been m...
Advanced Reactor Research: DOE Supports Multiple Technologies, but Actions Needed to Ensure a Prototype Is Built
GAO-14-545: Published: Jun 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 2014.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy's (NE) approach to advanced reactor research and development (R&D) focuses on three reactor technologies—high-temperature gas-cooled reactors, sodium-cooled fast reactors, and fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactors—but NE is also funding research into other advanced reactor technologies. NE's approach is to conduct research in s...
Nuclear Nonproliferation: Additional Actions Needed to Increase the Security of U.S. Industrial Radiological Sources
GAO-14-681T: Published: Jun 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 12, 2014.
Challenges exist in reducing the security risks faced by licensees using high-risk industrial radiological sources, including at industrial facilities in the oil and gas, aerospace, and food sterilization sectors. The challenges licensees face include the portability of some radiological sources (i.e., mobile sources), which makes them susceptible to theft or loss. Licensees also face challenges i...
DOE Loan Programs: DOE Should Fully Develop Its Loan Monitoring Function and Evaluate Its Effectiveness
GAO-14-367: Published: May 1, 2014. Publicly Released: May 1, 2014.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has not fully developed or consistently adhered to loan monitoring policies for its loan programs. In particular, DOE has established policies for most loan monitoring activities, but policies for evaluating and mitigating program-wide risk remain incomplete and outdated. These activities are generally the responsibility of the Risk Management Division in DOE's Loan...
Nuclear Weapons: Actions Needed by NNSA to Clarify Dismantlement Performance Goal
GAO-14-449: Published: Apr 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2014.
How the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) measures progress toward its performance goal of dismantling all weapons retired prior to fiscal year 2009 by the end of fiscal year 2022 is unclear for two reasons. First, NNSA does not track the actual date that dismantled weapons were retired and may be counting some dismantled weapons retired after fiscal year 2009 as equivalent to weapon...
Electricity Markets: Demand-Response Activities Have Increased, but FERC Could Improve Data Collection and Reporting Efforts
GAO-14-73: Published: Mar 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 2014.
Since 2004, the federal government has made efforts to facilitate demand-response activities, including expanding their use in wholesale electricity markets. Among these efforts, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued regulatory orders affecting Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO)—entities that operate the transmission system and administer wholesale markets in some parts o...
Nuclear Weapons: Technology Development Efforts for the Uranium Processing Facility
GAO-14-295: Published: Apr 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 18, 2014.
GAO has identified five additional risks since its November 2010 report ( GAO-11-103 ) associated with using new technologies in the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Uranium Processing Facility (UPF), which is to be built in three interrelated phases. These risks and the steps that NNSA is taking to address them include the following:Technology integration risks . An August 201...