Nuclear energy (11 - 20 of 227 items) in Custom Date Range
Department of Energy: Enhanced Transparency Could Clarify Costs, Market Impact, Risk, and Legal Authority to Conduct Future Uranium Transactions
GAO-14-291: Published: May 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2014.
The Department of Energy (DOE) undertook four uranium transactions involving USEC Inc. (USEC) in 2012 and 2013. These transactions served to provide the company with operating cash. According to DOE, the department benefited from these transactions in two ways: (1) by ensuring availability of domestic low-enriched uranium (LEU) for the production of tritium, a key radioactive isotope used to enhan...
Nuclear Safety: Countries' Regulatory Bodies Have Made Changes in Response to the Fukushima Daiichi Accident
GAO-14-109: Published: Mar 6, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 11, 2014.
All the nuclear regulatory bodies in the 16 selected countries in GAO's review—13 of which currently operate nuclear power reactors and 3 of which are developing or considering developing civilian nuclear power programs—have taken steps to strengthen nuclear safety in response to the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan. Japan in particular has fundamentally restructured its nuclear regulatory...
Nuclear Nonproliferation: Stronger Planning and Evaluation Needed for Radiological Security Zone Pilot Project
GAO-14-209: Published: Mar 6, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 2014.
Two U.S. agencies—the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)—have several ongoing efforts, both in the United States and internationally, to secure radiological sources that could be used to make a terrorist weapon. These efforts include strengthening regulatory requirements, upgrading security, and recovering unwanted or abandoned radiologi...
Nuclear Weapons: Factors Leading to Cost Increases with the Uranium Processing Facility
GAO-13-686R: Published: Jul 12, 2013. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 2013.
In summary, GAO found the following:Overly optimistic National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) assumptions about the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) contained in multiple cost estimates prepared from 2004 to 2011 (upper bound of cost range was approximately $1.1 billion and $6.5 billion, respectively) are the primary factors that contributed to its cost increase. Initial NNSA UPF cost est...
Wind Energy: Additional Actions Could Help Ensure Effective Use of Federal Financial Support
GAO-13-136: Published: Mar 11, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 2013.
GAO identified 82 federal wind-related initiatives, with a variety of key characteristics, implemented by nine agencies in fiscal year 2011. Five agencies--the Departments of Energy (DOE), the Interior, Agriculture (USDA), Commerce, and the Treasury--collectively implemented 73 of the initiatives. The 82 initiatives incurred about $2.9 billion in wind-related obligations and provided estimated win...
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...
Nuclear Fuel Cycle Options: DOE Needs to Enhance Planning for Technology Assessment and Collaboration with Industry and Other Countries
GAO-12-70: Published: Oct 17, 2011. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 2011.
More demand for electricity and concerns about greenhouse gas emissions have increased interest in nuclear power, which does not rely on fossil fuels. However, concerns remain about the radioactive spent fuel that nuclear reactors generate. The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a research and development (R&D) plan to select nuclear fuel cycles and technologies, some of which reprocess spent fuel...
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 Nonproliferation: More Progress Needed in Implementing Recommendations for IAEA's Technical Cooperation Program
GAO-11-482T: Published: Mar 17, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 2011.
A key mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy through its Technical Cooperation (TC) program, which provides equipment, training, fellowships, and other services to its member states. The United States provides approximately 25 percent of the TC program's annual budget. While the vast majority of TC projects have not involved the tr...
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...