Nuclear facilities (1 - 10 of 38 items)
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...
Hanford Waste Treatment: DOE Needs to Evaluate Alternatives to Recently Proposed Projects and Address Technical and Management Challenges
GAO-15-354: Published: May 7, 2015. Publicly Released: May 7, 2015.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) two proposed facilities may help achieve Hanford's waste treatment mission by expediting treatment of some waste and addressing some technical challenges within the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant's (WTP) Pretreatment facility. However, DOE selected the facilities based on past proposals and excluded other potential alternatives from consideration. One fac...
National Nuclear Security Administration: Observations on Management Challenges and Steps Taken to Address Them
GAO-15-532T: Published: Apr 15, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 2015.
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) faces challenges implementing its plans to modernize the nuclear security enterprise. In its November 2014 report, the Augustine-Mies Panel observed that NNSA's Stockpile Stewardship Management Plan, which is intended to communicate long-range plans and cost estimates, has varied from year to year in the costs and schedules for the delivery of se...
Nuclear Regulatory Commission: NRC Needs to Improve Its Cost Estimates by Incorporating More Best Practices
GAO-15-98: Published: Dec 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 2014.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) overall cost estimating procedures incorporate some best practice characteristics identified in the GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide (Cost Guide), but not others, and do not adequately support the creation of reliable cost estimates (see table). For example, while the procedures include the best practice of developing an estimating plan by outlinin...
Nuclear Weapons: Some Actions Have Been Taken to Address Challenges with the Uranium Processing Facility Design
GAO-15-126: Published: Oct 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 10, 2014.
In January 2013, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) completed a review to identify the factors that contributed to the space/fit issue with the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF), and identified a number of factors within both NNSA and the contractor managing the UPF design at that time. NNSA's review identified shortcomings in 1) federal oversight of the project, 2) design integra...
Department of Energy: Concerns with Major Construction Projects at the Office of Environmental Management and NNSA
GAO-13-484T: Published: Mar 20, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 20, 2013.
In response to GAO reports over the past few years on management weaknesses in major projects (i.e., those costing $750 million or more), the Department of Energy (DOE) has undertaken a number of reforms since March 2009, including those overseen by the Office of Environmental Management (EM) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). For example, DOE has updated program and project...
Modernizing the Nuclear Security Enterprise: The National Nuclear Security Administration's Proposed Acquisition Strategy Needs Further Clarification and Assessment
GAO-11-848: Published: Sep 20, 2011. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 2011.
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)--a semiautonomous agency within the Department of Energy (DOE)-- proposed in March 2010 a new acquisition strategy that includes consolidating the management and operating (M&O) contracts for two of its eight sites--the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12) in Tennessee and the Pantex Plant in Texas--and consolidating all construction projects fo...
Nuclear Material: DOE's Depleted Uranium Tails Could Be a Source of Revenue for the Government
GAO-11-752T: Published: Jun 13, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 2011.
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 of uranium-235. The tails are stored at DOE...
Nuclear Weapons: National Nuclear Security Administration's Plans for Its Uranium Processing Facility Should Better Reflect Funding Estimates and Technology Readiness
GAO-11-103: Published: Nov 19, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 2010.
Built in the 1940s and 1950s, the Y-12 National Security Complex, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) primary site for enriched uranium activities. Because Y-12 facilities are outdated and deteriorating, NNSA is building a more modern facility--known as the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF). NNSA estimates that the UPF will cost up to $3.5 bill...
Nuclear Nonproliferation: DOE Needs to Address Uncertainties with and Strengthen Independent Safety Oversight of Its Plutonium Disposition Program
GAO-10-378: Published: Mar 26, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 2010.
The end of the Cold War left the United States with a surplus of weapons-grade plutonium, which poses proliferation and safety risks. Much of this material is found in a key nuclear weapon component known as a pit. The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to dispose of at least 34 metric tons of plutonium by fabricating it into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for domestic nuclear reactors. To do so, DOE's Nati...