Environmental monitoring (1 - 10 of 63 items)
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...
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 Waste: Disposal Challenges and Lessons Learned from Yucca Mountain
GAO-11-731T: Published: Jun 1, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 2011.
The United States has generated over 75,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste--extremely hazardous substances--at 80 sites in 35 states and is expected to more than double that amount by 2055. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) required the Department of Energy (DOE) to investigate a geologic repository for nuclear waste. In 1987, Congress amended NWPA to dire...
DOE Nuclear Waste: Better Information Needed on Waste Storage at DOE Sites as a Result of Yucca Mountain Shutdown
GAO-11-230: Published: Mar 23, 2011. Publicly Released: May 5, 2011.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) is responsible for storing and managing a total of about 13,000 metric tons of nuclear waste--spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste--at five DOE sites in Colorado, Idaho, New York, South Carolina, and Washington. Also, a joint DOE-Navy program stores spent nuclear fuel from warships at DOE's Idaho site. DOE and the Navy int...
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...
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...
Nuclear Waste: Better Performance Reporting Needed to Assess DOE's Ability to Achieve the Goals of the Accelerated Cleanup Program
GAO-05-764: Published: Jul 29, 2005. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2005.
In February 2002, following years of rising costs to its nuclear waste cleanup program, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new initiative--the accelerated cleanup plan--and committed to reduce costs of cleanup by $50 billion, shorten the cleanup schedule by 35 years, and reduce risks to human health and the environment. GAO reviewed (1) the progress DOE has made under its accelerated clean...
Radiation Standards: Scientific Basis Inconclusive, and EPA and NRC Disagreement Continues
RCED-00-152: Published: Jun 30, 2000. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2000.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) radiation standards, focusing on: (1) whether the U.S. radiation protection standards have a well-verified scientific basis; (2) whether federal agencies have come closer to agreeing on standards since GAO reported on this issue in 1994; and (3) how implementi...
Department of Energy: Uncertainties and Management Problems Have Hindered Cleanup at Two Nuclear Waste Sites
T-RCED-00-248: Published: Jul 12, 2000. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 2000.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the: (1) challenges and uncertainties facing the Department of Energy (DOE) in cleaning up its Paducah, Kentucky, uranium enrichment site; and (2) effectiveness of DOE's oversight and management of its in-tank precipitation (ITP) project.GAO noted that: (1) DOE expects to complete the cleanup of the Paducah site by 2010 at a cost of about $1.3 bil...
Low-Level Radioactive Wastes: Department of Energy Has Opportunities to Reduce Disposal Costs
RCED-00-64: Published: Apr 12, 2000. Publicly Released: May 15, 2000.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) management and disposal of its low-level radioactive wastes, focusing on: (1) the factors that influence DOE's decisions about the treatment, storage, and disposal of the wastes; and (2) DOE's costs to treat, store, and dispose of these wastes and the cost-effectiveness of DOE's disposal decisions.GAO noted that: (1...