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National Laboratories, Department of Energy, Executive (1 - 10 of 12 items) in Past Year
Electricity: Federal Efforts to Enhance Grid Resilience
GAO-17-153: Published: Jan 25, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 24, 2017.
The Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reported implementing 27 grid resiliency efforts since 2013 and identified a variety of results from these efforts. The efforts addressed a range of threats and hazards—including cyberattacks, physical attacks, and natural disasters—and supported different types of act...
Nuclear Nonproliferation: Better Information Needed on Results of National Nuclear Security Administration's Research and Technology Development Projects
GAO-17-210: Published: Feb 3, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 3, 2017.
The full extent to which research and technology development projects managed by two programs in the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (DNN) have resulted in advanced (progressed technologies or science supporting them), transitioned (provided to users for further development or deployment), or deployed (used in the field) technologies is...
Nuclear Waste: Benefits and Costs Should Be Better Understood Before DOE Commits to a Separate Repository for Defense Waste
GAO-17-174: Published: Jan 31, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 31, 2017.
The information that the Department of Energy (DOE) provided to the President about whether a separate defense waste repository was required did not quantify cited benefits, when possible, show how these benefits could be achieved, or show the risks if certain benefits could not be realized as planned. In the information provided to the President, DOE stated that separate repositories for defense...
Renewable Fuel Standard: Low Expected Production Volumes Make It Unlikely That Advanced Biofuels Can Meet Increasing Targets
GAO-17-108: Published: Nov 28, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 28, 2016.
The federal government has supported research and development (R&D) related to advanced biofuels through direct research or grants, and the focus is shifting away from cellulosic ethanol and toward drop-in biofuels. Unlike corn starch-based or cellulosic ethanol, drop-in fuels such as renewable gasoline are fully compatible with existing infrastructure, such as vehicle engines and distribution pip...
Program Management: DOE Needs to Develop a Comprehensive Policy and Training Program
GAO-17-51: Published: Nov 21, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 21, 2016.
The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) have not established policies addressing internal control standards and leading practices related to program management. There are no federal government-wide standards specifically addressing program management. However, federal internal control standards include principles that are relevant to key roles such as...
Advanced Technologies: Strengthened Federal Approach Needed to Help Identify and Mitigate Supply Risks for Critical Raw Materials
GAO-16-699: Published: Sep 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 3, 2016.
Federal agencies are primarily focused on two areas of activity related to critical materials supply—assessing risk and supporting research. For example, the Department of Energy (DOE) has conducted two criticality assessments on materials important to clean energy applications and manages the Critical Materials Institute—a 5-year, $120 million investment aimed at mitigating risks by diversify...
Nuclear Weapons: NNSA Should Evaluate the Role of the Enhanced Surveillance Program in Assessing the Condition of the U.S. Nuclear Stockpile
GAO-16-549: Published: Sep 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2016.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) did not fully implement the Enhanced Surveillance Program as envisioned in the agency's 2007 Surveillance Transformation Project (2007 initiative) and has not developed a long-term strategy for the program. Surveillance is the process of inspecting a weapon through various tests of the weapon as a whole, the weapon's...
Department of Energy: Actions Needed to Strengthen Acquisition Planning for Management and Operating Contracts
GAO-16-529: Published: Aug 9, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2016.
Management and operating (M&O) contracts represented almost three-quarters of the Department of Energy's (DOE) total spending in fiscal year 2015 and were used extensively to support its missions. According to DOE officials, the agency uses M&O contracts for a number of reasons. For example, they said that the complex and unique nature of DOE's missions makes M&O contracts a good fit, and these co...
Nuclear Supply Chain: DOE Should Assess Circumstances for Using Enhanced Procurement Authority to Manage Risk
GAO-16-710: Published: Aug 11, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 2016.
As of May 2016, the Secretary of Energy had not used the enhanced procurement authority, and the Department of Energy (DOE) had not developed processes for using the authority, as it had not fully assessed the circumstances under which the authority might be useful. To use the authority, the Secretary must be made aware of a supply chain risk by officials from DOE or its semiautonomous National Nu...
DOE Project Management: NNSA Needs to Clarify Requirements for Its Plutonium Analysis Project at Los Alamos
GAO-16-585: Published: Aug 9, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 9, 2016.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) defined requirements for the revised Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) project to provide plutonium analysis equipment at its Los Alamos site but did not specify the capacity for analyzing plutonium that the project should provide, making it possible that the project would not meet plutonium analysi...