Nuclear waste disposal (1 - 10 of 42 items) in Custom Date Range
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...
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...
Nuclear Waste: DOE Needs to Improve Cost Estimates for Transuranic Waste Projects at Los Alamos
GAO-15-182: Published: Feb 18, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2015.
The National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) project to remove transuranic (TRU) waste—primarily discarded equipment and soils contaminated with certain radioactive material—at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) did not meet its cost estimates. At the end of fiscal year 2014, NNSA had spent about $931 million on the project, exceeding its 2006 estimate of $729 million by $202 milli...
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 Waste: Actions Needed to Address Persistent Concerns with Efforts to Close Underground Radioactive Waste Tanks at DOE's Savannah River Site
GAO-10-816: Published: Sep 14, 2010. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2010.
Decades of nuclear materials production at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site in South Carolina have left 37 million gallons of radioactive liquid waste in 49 underground storage tanks. In December 2008, DOE entered into a contract with Savannah River Remediation, LLC (SRR) to close, by 2017, 22 of the highest-risk tanks at a cost of $3.2 billion. GAO was asked to assess: (1) DOE...
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...
Nuclear Waste Management: Key Attributes, Challenges, and Costs for the Yucca Mountain Repository and Two Potential Alternatives
GAO-10-48: Published: Nov 4, 2009. Publicly Released: Dec 2, 2009.
High-level nuclear waste--one of the nation's most hazardous substances--is accumulating at 80 sites in 35 states. The United States has generated 70,000 metric tons of nuclear waste and is expected to generate 153,000 metric tons by 2055. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to dispose of the waste in a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, ab...
Nuclear Waste: Uncertainties and Questions about Costs and Risks Persist with DOE's Tank Waste Cleanup Strategy at Hanford
GAO-09-913: Published: Sep 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 2009.
At its Hanford Site in Washington State, the Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for one of the world's biggest cleanup projects: the treatment and disposal of about 56 million gallons of radioactive and hazardous waste, stored in 177 underground tanks. Two decades and several halted efforts later, none of this waste has yet been treated, cleanup costs have grown steadily, and prospective cl...
Nuclear Waste: DOE's Environmental Management Initiatives Report Is Incomplete
GAO-09-697R: Published: Jun 2, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 2009.
The Department of Energy (DOE) spends billions of dollars annually to clean up nuclear waste at sites across the nation that produced nuclear weapons from the 1940s through the end of the Cold War. This waste can threaten public health and the environment. For example, contaminants at DOE's Hanford site in Washington have migrated through the soil into the groundwater, which generally flows toward...
Department of Energy: Contract and Project Management Concerns at the National Nuclear Security Administration and Office Of Environmental Management
GAO-09-406T: Published: Mar 4, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2009.
The Department of Energy (DOE) manages over 100 construction projects with estimated costs over $90 billion and 97 nuclear waste cleanup projects with estimated costs over $230 billion. DOE has about 14,000 employees to oversee the work of more than 93,000 contractor employees. Due to DOE's history of inadequate oversight and management of contractors, GAO continues to include DOE contract and pro...