Natural resources (11 - 20 of 38 items)
Nuclear Weapons: National Nuclear Security Administration Needs to Ensure Continued Availability of Tritium for the Weapons Stockpile
GAO-11-100: Published: Oct 7, 2010. Publicly Released: Oct 7, 2010.
The National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Tritium Readiness Program aims to establish an assured domestic source of tritium--a key isotope used in nuclear weapons--in order to maintain the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. Because tritium decays at a rate of 5.5 percent annually, it must be periodically replenished in the stockpile. However, since 2003, NNSA's efforts to produce tritium...
Department of Energy: Further Actions Are Needed to Improve DOE's Ability to Evaluate and Implement the Loan Guarantee Program
GAO-10-627: Published: Jul 12, 2010. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 2010.
Since the Department of Energy's (DOE) loan guarantee program (LGP) for innovative energy projects was established in Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, its scope has expanded both in the types of projects it can support and in the amount of loan guarantee authority available. DOE currently has loan guarantee authority estimated at about $77 billion and is seeking additional authority. A...
Oil and Gas Management: Interior's Oil and Gas Production Verification Efforts Do Not Provide Reasonable Assurance of Accurate Measurement of Production Volumes
GAO-10-313: Published: Mar 15, 2010. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 2010.
Oil and natural gas produced from federal leases generated over $6.5 billion in royalties in 2009. To verify that royalties are paid on the correct volumes of oil and gas, the Department of the Interior (Interior) verifies the quantity and quality of oil and gas, both onshore, through the Bureau of Land Management, and offshore, through the Offshore Energy and Minerals Management Service. This rep...
Oil and Gas Bonds: Bonding Requirements and BLM Expenditures to Reclaim Orphaned Wells
GAO-10-245: Published: Jan 27, 2010. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2010.
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 directs the Department of the Interior (Interior) to manage lands for multiple uses while also taking any action to prevent "unnecessary or undue degradation" of the land. To do this, Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), among other things, requires oil and gas operators to reclaim the land they disturb and post a bond to help ensure they d...
Nuclear Waste: Action Needed to Improve Accountability and Management of DOE's Major Cleanup Projects
GAO-08-1081: Published: Sep 26, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2008.
The Department of Energy (DOE) spends billions of dollars annually to clean up nuclear wastes at sites that produced nuclear weapons. Cleanup projects decontaminate and demolish buildings, remove and dispose of contaminated soil, treat contaminated groundwater, and stabilize and dispose of solid and liquid radioactive wastes. Ten of these projects meet or nearly meet DOE's definition of major: cos...
Oil and Gas Royalties: The Federal System for Collecting Oil and Gas Revenues Needs Comprehensive Reassessment
GAO-08-691: Published: Sep 3, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 12, 2008.
In fiscal year 2007, domestic and foreign companies received over $75 billion from the sale of oil and gas produced from federal lands and waters, according to the Department of the Interior (Interior), and these companies paid the federal government about $9 billion in royalties for this oil and gas production. The government also collects other revenues in rents, taxes, and other fees, and the s...
Department of Energy: New Loan Guarantee Program Should Complete Activities Necessary for Effective and Accountable Program Management
GAO-08-750: Published: Jul 7, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2008.
Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 established DOE's loan guarantee program (LGP) for innovative energy projects that should decrease air pollutants or greenhouse gases and that have a reasonable prospect of repayment. For fiscal years 2008 and 2009, Congress authorized the use of borrower fees to pay the costs of loan guarantees through Title XVII's "borrower pays" option, under which DO...
Nuclear Safety: NRC's Oversight of Fire Protection at U.S. Commercial Nuclear Reactor Units Could Be Strengthened
GAO-08-747: Published: Jun 30, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2008.
After a 1975 fire at the Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Alabama threatened the unit's ability to shut down safely, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued prescriptive fire safety rules for commercial nuclear units. However, nuclear units with different designs and different ages have had difficulty meeting these rules and have sought exemptions to them. In 2004, NRC began to encourage the n...
Hydrogen Fuel Initiative: DOE Has Made Important Progress and Involved Stakeholders but Needs to Update What It Expects to Achieve by Its 2015 Target
GAO-08-305: Published: Jan 11, 2008. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 2008.
The United States consumes more than 20 million barrels of oil each day, two-thirds of which is imported, leaving the nation vulnerable to rising prices. Oil combustion produces emissions linked to health problems and global warming. In January 2003, the administration announced a 5-year, $1.2 billion Hydrogen Fuel Initiative to perform research, development, and demonstration (R&D) for developing...
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...