Nuclear waste disposal (11 - 20 of 42 items)
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 Waste: DOE Lacks Critical Information Needed to Assess Its Tank Management Strategy at Hanford
GAO-08-793: Published: Jun 30, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2008.
The Department of Energy (DOE) manages more than 56 million gallons of radioactive and hazardous waste stored in 149 single-shell and 28 double-shell underground tanks at its Hanford Site in Washington State. Many of these aging tanks have already leaked waste into the soil. Meanwhile, DOE's planned process for emptying the tanks and treating the waste--mixing it with molten glass and solidifying...
Global Nuclear Energy Partnership: DOE Should Reassess Its Approach to Designing and Building Spent Nuclear Fuel Recycling Facilities
GAO-08-483: Published: Apr 22, 2008. Publicly Released: May 22, 2008.
The Department of Energy (DOE) proposes under the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) to build facilities to begin recycling the nation's commercial spent nuclear fuel. GNEP's objectives include reducing radioactive waste disposed of in a geologic repository and mitigating the nuclear proliferation risks of existing recycling technologies. DOE originally planned a small engineering-scale demo...
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...
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...
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...
Nuclear Cleanup of Rocky Flats: DOE Can Use Lessons Learned to Improve Oversight of Other Sites' Cleanup Activities
GAO-06-352: Published: Jul 10, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 10, 2006.
In 2001, when GAO reported on the cleanup of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Rocky Flats site, a former nuclear weapons production facility, the cleanup was behind schedule and over cost. In October 2005, the contractor declared that it had completed the cleanup much earlier and at less cost than DOE and the contractor had anticipated 5 years earlier. GAO was asked to determine the (1) factors th...
Nuclear Cleanup: Preliminary Results of the Review of the Department of Energy's Rocky Flats Closure Projects
GAO-05-1044R: Published: Sep 22, 2005. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 2005.
For about 40 years, the Department of Energy's Rocky Flats site, near Denver, served as a production facility that made plutonium triggers, or "pits," for nuclear weapons. That role resulted in radiological and chemical contamination of many of the site's buildings and its soil and water. Cleanup of the site, which commenced in 1996, has been a monumental undertaking. The cleanup is being conducte...
Nuclear Waste: Absence of Key Management Reforms on Hanford's Cleanup Project Adds to Challenges of Achieving Cost and Schedule Goals
GAO-04-611: Published: Jun 9, 2004. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 2004.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford Site in Washington State houses DOE's largest and most complex nuclear cleanup project--treating and preparing for disposal 55 million gallons of high-level radioactive waste. In 2000, DOE awarded an 11-year, $4.3 billion contract to design, construct, and test treatment facilities at Hanford. GAO was asked to review (1) efforts to accelerate the project's...