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National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy, Executive (81 - 90 of 160 items)
Los Alamos National Laboratory: Long-Term Strategies Needed to Improve Security and Management Oversight
GAO-08-694: Published: Jun 13, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2008.
In 2006, a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) contract employee unlawfully removed classified information from the laboratory. This was the latest in a series of high-profile security incidents at LANL spanning almost a decade. LANL conducts research on nuclear weapons and other national security areas for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). GAO was asked to (1) identify LANL's...
Nuclear Weapons: NNSA Needs to Establish a Cost and Schedule Baseline for Manufacturing a Critical Nuclear Weapon Component
GAO-08-593: Published: May 23, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 2008.
The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is responsible for manufacturing pits, a key component in a nuclear warhead. The department lost its ability to manufacture pits in 1989 with the closing of the Rocky Flats Plant. In 1996, the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) was directed to reestablish a pit manufacturing capability, starting with a limited number of...
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...
Los Alamos National Laboratory: Information on Security of Classified Data, Nuclear Material Controls, Nuclear and Worker Safety, and Project Management Weaknesses
GAO-08-173R: Published: Jan 10, 2008. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 2008.
The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which is operated by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), is responsible for, among other things, designing nuclear weapons. Over the past decade, we have documented numerous security, safety, and project management weaknesses at NNSA's nuclear weapons complex, including LANL. In particular, LANL has experienced a series of high-profile se...
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...
Fusion Energy: Definitive Cost Estimates for U.S. Contributions to an International Experimental Reactor and Better Coordinated DOE Research Are Needed
GAO-08-30: Published: Oct 26, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 26, 2007.
The United States is pursuing two paths to fusion energy--magnetic and inertial. On November 21, 2006, the United States signed an agreement with five countries and the European Union to build and operate the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in Cadarache, France, to demonstrate the feasibility of magnetic fusion energy. The United States also built and operates facilities to...
Nuclear Security: DOE and NRC Have Different Security Requirements for Protecting Weapons-Grade Material from Terrorist Attacks
GAO-07-1197R: Published: Sep 11, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 2007.
In terrorists' hands, weapons-grade nuclear material--known as Category I special nuclear material when in specified forms and quantities--can be used to construct an improvised nuclear device capable of producing a nuclear explosion. Responsibility for the security of Category I special nuclear material is divided between the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)...
Department of Energy: Major Construction Projects Need a Consistent Approach for Assessing Technology Readiness to Help Avoid Cost Increases and Delays
GAO-07-336: Published: Mar 27, 2007. Publicly Released: Mar 27, 2007.
The Department of Energy (DOE) spends billions of dollars on major construction projects that help maintain the nuclear weapons stockpile, conduct research and development, and process nuclear waste so that it can be disposed of. Because of DOE's long-standing project management problems, GAO determined the extent to which (1) DOE's major construction projects are having cost increases and schedul...
Nuclear Nonproliferation: DOE's International Radiological Threat Reduction Program Needs to Focus Future Efforts on Securing the Highest Priority Radiological Sources
GAO-07-282: Published: Jan 31, 2007. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 2007.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, U.S. and international experts raised concerns that unsecured radiological sources were vulnerable to theft and posed a significant security threat to the United States and the international community. Radioactive material is encapsulated or sealed in metal to prevent its dispersal and is commonly called a sealed radiological source. Sealed ra...
Nuclear Nonproliferation: Focusing on the Highest Priority Radiological Sources Could Improve DOE's Efforts to Secure Sources in Foreign Countries
GAO-07-580T: Published: Mar 13, 2007. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 2007.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, U.S. and international experts raised concerns that unsecured radiological sources posed a significant security threat to the United States and the international community. If certain types of these sources were obtained by terrorists, they could be used to produce a radiological dispersion device, or dirty bomb. In response, the Department of...