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National Laboratories, Department of Energy, Executive (31 - 40 of 145 items)
Combating Nuclear Terrorism: Preliminary Observations on Preparedness to Recover from Possible Attacks Using Radiological or Nuclear Materials
GAO-09-996T: Published: Sep 14, 2009. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2009.
A terrorist's use of a radiological dispersal device (RDD) or improvised nuclear device (IND) to release radioactive materials into the environment could have devastating consequences. The timely cleanup of contaminated areas, however, could speed the restoration of normal operations, thus reducing the adverse consequences from an incident. This testimony examines (1) the extent to which federal a...
Nuclear Security: Better Oversight Needed to Ensure That Security Improvements at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Are Fully Implemented and Sustained
GAO-09-321: Published: Mar 16, 2009. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 2009.
In April 2008, the Department of Energy's (DOE) security inspection at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) found significant weaknesses, particularly in LLNL's protective force's ability to assure the protection of weapons-grade (special) nuclear material. LLNL is overseen by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a separately organized agency within DOE, and managed by a c...
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...
Nuclear Security: Los Alamos National Laboratory Faces Challenges In Sustaining Physical and Cyber Security Improvements
GAO-08-1180T: Published: Sep 25, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 2008.
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is one of three National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) laboratories that designs and develops nuclear weapons for the U.S. stockpile. LANL employees rely on sensitive and classified information and assets that are protected at different levels, depending on the risks posed if they were lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised. However, LANL has experien...
Climate Change: Expert Opinion on the Economics of Policy Options to Address Climate Change
GAO-08-605: Published: May 9, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2008.
Elevated levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the resulting effects on the earth's climate could have significant environmental and economic impacts in the United States and internationally. Potential impacts include rising sea levels and a shift in the intensity and frequency of floods and storms. Proposed responses to climate change include adapting to the possible impacts by plannin...
Nuclear Security: Action May Be Needed to Reassess the Security of NRC-Licensed Research Reactors
GAO-08-403: Published: Jan 31, 2008. Publicly Released: Feb 12, 2008.
There are 37 research reactors in the United States, mostly located on college campuses. Of these, 33 reactors are licensed and regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Four are operated by the Department of Energy (DOE) and are located at three national laboratories. Although less powerful than commercial nuclear power reactors, research reactors may still be attractive targets for t...
Securing U.S. Nuclear Material: DOE Has Made Little Progress Consolidating and Disposing of Special Nuclear Material
GAO-08-72: Published: Oct 4, 2007. Publicly Released: Nov 5, 2007.
The Department of Energy (DOE) recognizes that a terrorist attack on a DOE site containing material that can be used in a nuclear weapon could have devastating consequences. DOE currently stores special nuclear material at 10 sites in 8 states. To reduce security costs, DOE plans to consolidate the material at fewer sites and dispose of material that it no longer needs. In 2005, DOE chartered the...
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...
Energy Efficiency: Important Challenges Must Be Overcome to Realize Significant Opportunities for Energy Efficiency Improvements in Gulf Coast Reconstruction
GAO-07-654: Published: Jun 26, 2007. Publicly Released: Jun 26, 2007.
Following several hurricanes in 2005, the need to rebuild and repair destroyed and damaged homes and buildings in the Gulf Coast region may create opportunities for making energy efficiency improvements and realizing energy cost savings. While numerous federal agencies are involved in the recovery process, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Energy (DOE) int...
Nuclear Waste: Plans for Addressing Most Buried Transuranic Wastes Are Not Final, and Preliminary Cost Estimates Will Likely Increase
GAO-07-761: Published: Jun 22, 2007. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 2007.
Since the 1940s, the development of nuclear weapons technologies has generated transuranic wastes--materials contaminated by certain man-made radioactive elements. These wastes can remain dangerous for thousands of years. Until 1970, the Department of Energy's (DOE) predecessors buried these wastes in shallow pits and trenches. Today, state officials and communities near DOE's major disposal sites...