Cost analysis (71 - 80 of 267 items)
Nuclear Material: Several Potential Options for Dealing with DOE's Depleted Uranium Tails Could Benefit the Government
GAO-08-613T: Published: Apr 3, 2008. Publicly Released: Apr 3, 2008.
Since the 1940s, the Department of Energy (DOE) has been processing natural uranium into enriched uranium, which has a higher concentration of the isotope uranium-235 that can be used in nuclear weapons or reactors. This has resulted in over 700,000 metric tons of leftover depleted uranium, also known as "tails," that have varying residual concentrations uranium-235. The tails are stored at DOE's...
Nuclear Material: DOE Has Several Potential Options for Dealing with Depleted Uranium Tails, Each of Which Could Benefit the Government
GAO-08-606R: Published: Mar 31, 2008. Publicly Released: Apr 2, 2008.
Since the 1940s, one mission of the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies has been processing uranium as a source of nuclear material for defense and commercial purposes. A key step in this process is the enrichment of natural uranium, which increases its concentration of uranium-235, the isotope of uranium that undergoes fission to release enormous amounts of energy. Before it c...
Advanced Energy Technologies: Budget Trends and Challenges for DOE's Energy R&D Program
GAO-08-556T: Published: Mar 5, 2008. Publicly Released: Mar 5, 2008.
For decades, the nation has benefited from relatively inexpensive energy, in the process growing heavily reliant on conventional fossil fuels--oil, natural gas, and coal. However, in the current wake of higher energy costs and environmental concerns about fossil fuel emissions, renewed attention is turning to the development of advanced energy technologies as alternatives. In the United States, th...
Strategic Petroleum Reserve: Options to Improve the Cost-Effectiveness of Filling the Reserve
GAO-08-521T: Published: Feb 26, 2008. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2008.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) was created in 1975 to help insulate the U.S. economy from oil supply disruptions and currently holds about 700 million barrels of crude oil. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to increase the SPR storage capacity from 727 million barrels to 1 billion barrels, which it plans to accomplish by 2018. Since 1999, oil for the SPR...
Uranium Enrichment: Extension of Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund May Be Needed to Cover Projected Cleanup Costs
GAO-08-277T: Published: Nov 15, 2007. Publicly Released: Nov 15, 2007.
Cleaning up the nation's three uranium enrichment plants will cost billions of dollars and could span decades. These plants--located near Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Paducah, Ky.; and Portsmouth, Ohio--are contaminated with radioactive and hazardous materials. In 1992, the Energy Policy Act created the Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund (Fund) to pay for plant cleanup. Fund revenues...
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 Safety: Construction of the Protective Shelter for the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor Faces Schedule Delays, Potential Cost Increases, and Technical Uncertainties
GAO-07-923: Published: Jul 19, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2007.
In 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine destroyed the reactor building and released massive amounts of radioactive contamination. A temporary shelter was built over the damaged reactor to prevent further contamination. The United States is a major donor to an international project to build a new shelter to replace the existing one, which is badly deteriorating. GAO wa...
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...
Biofuels: DOE Lacks a Strategic Approach to Coordinate Increasing Production with Infrastructure Development and Vehicle Needs
GAO-07-713: Published: Jun 8, 2007. Publicly Released: Jun 8, 2007.
The U.S. transportation sector is almost entirely dependent on oil, a condition that poses significant economic and environmental risks. Biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, have the potential to displace oil use in transportation fuel. GAO was asked to describe the status of and impediments to expanding biofuel production, distribution infrastructure, and compatible vehicles as well as federa...