Department of Energy:

Cost Estimates for the Hanford Tank Waste Remediation Project

RCED-99-188R: Published: May 19, 1999. Publicly Released: May 19, 1999.


Victor S. Rezendes
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the differences between GAO's 1998 report on the Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford Tank Waste Remediation project and a 1998 report on the same project prepared by the Pacific Rim Enterprise Center, focusing on why the two reports reached substantially different conclusions about the growth in costs for the tank waste project.

GAO noted that: (1) the two estimates of cost growth differed primarily because the two studies had different objectives and thus measured different aspects of the project; (2) GAO's objective was to document how the project as a whole had changed from its original plan; (3) Pacific Rim's objective was to identify significant changes between the contract DOE signed in August 1998 and earlier contracts DOE signed in 1996 with two contractor teams; and (4) because of these different objectives, each study used a substantially different approach to evaluate the project's cost estimates and support costs.

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