Nuclear waste disposal (1 - 10 of 24 items)
Nuclear Waste: DOE Needs to Improve Cost Estimates for Transuranic Waste Projects at Los Alamos
GAO-15-182: Published: Feb 18, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2015.
The National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) project to remove transuranic (TRU) waste—primarily discarded equipment and soils contaminated with certain radioactive material—at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) did not meet its cost estimates. At the end of fiscal year 2014, NNSA had spent about $931 million on the project, exceeding its 2006 estimate of $729 million by $202 milli...
Nuclear Waste: Disposal Challenges and Lessons Learned from Yucca Mountain
GAO-11-731T: Published: Jun 1, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 2011.
The United States has generated over 75,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste--extremely hazardous substances--at 80 sites in 35 states and is expected to more than double that amount by 2055. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) required the Department of Energy (DOE) to investigate a geologic repository for nuclear waste. In 1987, Congress amended NWPA to dire...
Commercial Nuclear Waste: Effects of a Termination of the Yucca Mountain Repository Program and Lessons Learned
GAO-11-229: Published: Apr 8, 2011. Publicly Released: May 10, 2011.
Spent nuclear fuel--considered very hazardous--is accumulating at commercial reactor sites in 33 states. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to dispose of this waste in a repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In June 2008, DOE submitted a license application for the repository, but in March 2010 moved to withdraw it. However, the Nuclear Regulat...
Recovery Act: Status of Department of Energy's Obligations and Spending
GAO-11-483T: Published: Mar 17, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 2011.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) aims to promote economic recovery, make investments, and minimize or avoid reductions in state and local government services. As of February 2011, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the act will cost $821 billion in spending and tax provisions through 2019. The Recovery Act provided the Department of Energy (DOE) more than $4...
Nuclear Nonproliferation: DOE Needs to Address Uncertainties with and Strengthen Independent Safety Oversight of Its Plutonium Disposition Program
GAO-10-378: Published: Mar 26, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 2010.
The end of the Cold War left the United States with a surplus of weapons-grade plutonium, which poses proliferation and safety risks. Much of this material is found in a key nuclear weapon component known as a pit. The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to dispose of at least 34 metric tons of plutonium by fabricating it into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for domestic nuclear reactors. To do so, DOE's Nati...
Nuclear Waste: DOE's Environmental Management Initiatives Report Is Incomplete
GAO-09-697R: Published: Jun 2, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 2009.
The Department of Energy (DOE) spends billions of dollars annually to clean up nuclear waste at sites across the nation that produced nuclear weapons from the 1940s through the end of the Cold War. This waste can threaten public health and the environment. For example, contaminants at DOE's Hanford site in Washington have migrated through the soil into the groundwater, which generally flows toward...
Department of Energy: Contract and Project Management Concerns at the National Nuclear Security Administration and Office Of Environmental Management
GAO-09-406T: Published: Mar 4, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2009.
The Department of Energy (DOE) manages over 100 construction projects with estimated costs over $90 billion and 97 nuclear waste cleanup projects with estimated costs over $230 billion. DOE has about 14,000 employees to oversee the work of more than 93,000 contractor employees. Due to DOE's history of inadequate oversight and management of contractors, GAO continues to include DOE contract and pro...
Nuclear Waste: Action Needed to Improve Accountability and Management of DOE's Major Cleanup Projects
GAO-08-1081: Published: Sep 26, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2008.
The Department of Energy (DOE) spends billions of dollars annually to clean up nuclear wastes at sites that produced nuclear weapons. Cleanup projects decontaminate and demolish buildings, remove and dispose of contaminated soil, treat contaminated groundwater, and stabilize and dispose of solid and liquid radioactive wastes. Ten of these projects meet or nearly meet DOE's definition of major: cos...
Yucca Mountain: DOE Has Improved Its Quality Assurance Program, but Whether Its Application for a NRC License Will Be High Quality Is Unclear
GAO-07-1010: Published: Aug 2, 2007. Publicly Released: Aug 6, 2007.
Nuclear power reactors generate highly radioactive waste. To permanently store this waste, the Department of Energy (DOE) has been working to submit a license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain about 100 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada. Although the project has been beset with delays, in part because of persistent problems with its...
Nuclear Waste: DOE Should Reassess Whether the Bulk Vitrification Demonstration Project at Its Hanford Site Is Still Needed to Treat Radioactive Waste
GAO-07-762: Published: Jun 12, 2007. Publicly Released: Jun 12, 2007.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is demonstrating a technology called bulk vitrification, in parallel with the Hanford waste treatment plant, to treat a portion of the radioactive waste stored in 177 tanks at its Hanford site in southeastern Washington state. DOE faces technical and management problems that have affected the original objectives to justify demonstrating the bulk vitrification technol...