Natural resources (21 - 30 of 305 items)
DOE Loan Programs: Current Estimated Net Costs Include $2.2 Billion in Credit Subsidy, Plus Administrative Expenses
GAO-15-438: Published: Apr 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 27, 2015.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) loan programs portfolio consists of 34 loans and loan guarantees totaling about $28 billion in support of 30 projects in a diverse array of technologies. DOE's Loan Guarantee Program (LGP) encourages certain types of energy projects by agreeing to reimburse lenders for the guaranteed amount of loans if the borrowers default. These guarantees have been for nuclear,...
Department of Energy: Management of Excess Uranium
GAO-15-475T: Published: Apr 22, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 2015.
GAO has identified four key issues related to the Department of Energy's (DOE) management of excess uranium and uranium transfers in reports, testimonies, and a legal opinion issued since 2006 as follows:Elimination of a guideline to limit DOE's annual uranium sales and transfers. In May 2014, GAO found DOE's decision to discontinue its 10 percent guideline for limiting uranium sales and transfers...
National Nuclear Security Administration: Reports on the Benefits and Costs of Competing Management and Operating Contracts Need to Be Clearer and More Complete
GAO-15-331: Published: Mar 23, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2015.
The National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) report to Congress on the competition of the consolidated management and operating (M&O) contract for its Pantex Plant in Texas and Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12) in Tennessee includes information on all the statutorily required topics but does not clearly or completely describe expected benefits and costs. Specifically:• Key analyses...
Improper Payments: DOE's Risk Assessments Should Be Strengthened
GAO-15-36: Published: Dec 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 23, 2014.
The Department of Energy (DOE) developed a process to assess its programs for risks of improper payments, but its assessments do not fully evaluate risk. To comply with the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (IPERA), in fiscal year 2011, DOE directed its programs to develop risk assessments using eight qualitative risk factors, such as recent major changes in program funding, a...
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...
Project and Program Management: DOE Needs to Revise Requirements and Guidance for Cost Estimating and Related Reviews
GAO-15-29: Published: Nov 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 25, 2014.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) and its National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) cost estimating requirements and guidance for projects and programs do not fully reflect best practices for developing cost estimates. In regard to cost estimating requirements for projects, DOE's 2010 project management order requires 1 of the 12 cost estimating best practices—conducting an independent co...
Spent Nuclear Fuel Management: Outreach Needed to Help Gain Public Acceptance for Federal Activities That Address Liability
GAO-15-141: Published: Oct 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 12, 2014.
Spent nuclear fuel—the used fuel removed from nuclear power reactors—is expected to accumulate at an average rate of about 2,200 metric tons per year in the United States. This spent nuclear fuel is mostly stored wet, submerged in pools of water. However, since pools have been reaching their capacities, owners and generators of spent nuclear fuel (typically utilities and reactor operators) hav...
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...
Natural Gas: Federal Approval Process for Liquefied Natural Gas Exports
GAO-14-762: Published: Sep 26, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 1, 2014.
Since 2010, of 35 applications it has received that require a public interest review, the Department of Energy (DOE) has approved 3 applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 6 applications are conditionally approved with final approval contingent on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) issuance of a satisfactory environmental review of the export facility. DOE considers a...
Drinking Water: Characterization of Injected Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production
GAO-14-857R: Published: Sep 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 23, 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program, including oversight and regulation of injection wells associated with oil and gas production called class II wells. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, these wells are subject to regulation to protect underground drinking water sources. EPA has approved 39 states to manage their own class II well pro...