Natural resources (121 - 130 of 305 items)
Department of Energy: Oil and Natural Gas Research and Development Activities
GAO-08-190R: Published: Nov 6, 2007. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 2007.
Domestic oil and natural gas production are important to meeting our nation's energy needs and represented more than 40 percent of the U.S. energy production in 2006. The Department of Energy (DOE) has undertaken research and development (R&D) for oil and natural gas since its inception in the late 1970s. Historically, the federal government has entered into cost-sharing agreements with universiti...
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 Energy: NRC's Workforce and Processes for New Reactor Licensing Are Generally in Place, but Uncertainties Remain as Industry Begins to Submit Applications
GAO-07-1129: Published: Sep 21, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 2007.
Nearly three decades after the last order for a new nuclear power reactor in the United States, electric power companies plan to submit 20 applications in the next 18 months to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for licenses to build and operate new reactors. Since 1989, NRC has developed a new license review process that allows a power company to obtain a construction permit and an operating...
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...
Crude Oil: Uncertainty about Future Oil Supply Makes It Important to Develop a Strategy for Addressing a Peak and Decline in Oil Production
GAO-07-283: Published: Feb 28, 2007. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 2007.
The U.S. economy depends heavily on oil, particularly in the transportation sector. World oil production has been running at near capacity to meet demand, pushing prices upward. Concerns about meeting increasing demand with finite resources have renewed interest in an old question: How long can the oil supply expand before reaching a maximum level of production--a peak--from which it can only decl...
The Department of Energy: Key Steps Needed to Help Ensure the Success of the New Loan Guarantee Program for Innovative Technologies by Better Managing Its Financial Risk
GAO-07-339R: Published: Feb 28, 2007. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2007.
In May 2006, the Department of Energy (DOE) proposed transferring appropriations from some DOE accounts to begin a new loan guarantee program (LGP) authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 05). Title XVII of EPAct 05--Incentives for Innovative Technologies--authorized the LGP to guarantee loans for projects intended to (1) decrease air pollutants or man-made greenhouse gases by reducing...
National Nuclear Security Administration: Additional Actions Needed to Improve Management of the Nation's Nuclear Programs
GAO-07-36: Published: Jan 19, 2007. Publicly Released: Jan 31, 2007.
In response to security and management weaknesses, in 1999 the Congress created the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a separately organized agency within the Department of Energy (DOE). NNSA is responsible for the nation's nuclear weapons, nonproliferation, and naval reactors programs. Since its creation, NNSA has continued to experience security problems, such as unauthorized acce...
Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Oversight of Nuclear Power Plant Safety Has Improved, but Refinements Are Needed
GAO-06-1029: Published: Sep 27, 2006. Publicly Released: Sep 27, 2006.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is responsible for overseeing the nation's 103 commercial nuclear power plants to ensure they are operated safely. The safety of these plants has always been important, since an accident could release harmful radioactive material. NRC's oversight has become even more critical as the potential resurgence of nuclear power is considered. NRC implemented a new R...
Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Preliminary Observations on Its Process to Oversee the Safe Operation of Nuclear Power Plants
GAO-06-888T: Published: Jun 19, 2006. Publicly Released: Jun 19, 2006.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has the responsibility to provide oversight to ensure that the nation's 103 commercial nuclear power plants are operated safely. While the safety of these plants has always been important, since radioactive release could harm the public and the environment, NRC's oversight has become even more critical as the Congress and the nation consider the potential re...
Nuclear Power Plants: Efforts Made to Upgrade Security, but the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Design Basis Threat Process Should Be Improved
GAO-06-388: Published: Mar 14, 2006. Publicly Released: Apr 4, 2006.
The nation's commercial nuclear power plants are potential targets for terrorists seeking to cause the release of radioactive material. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), an independent agency headed by five commissioners, is responsible for regulating and overseeing security at the plants. In April 2003, in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, NRC revised the design basi...