Nuclear waste disposal (1 - 10 of 38 items)
Hanford Waste Treatment: DOE Needs to Evaluate Alternatives to Recently Proposed Projects and Address Technical and Management Challenges
GAO-15-354: Published: May 7, 2015. Publicly Released: May 7, 2015.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) two proposed facilities may help achieve Hanford's waste treatment mission by expediting treatment of some waste and addressing some technical challenges within the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant's (WTP) Pretreatment facility. However, DOE selected the facilities based on past proposals and excluded other potential alternatives from consideration. One fac...
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...
Department of Energy: Contract and Project Management Concerns at the National Nuclear Security Administration and Office Of Environmental Management
GAO-09-406T: Published: Mar 4, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2009.
The Department of Energy (DOE) manages over 100 construction projects with estimated costs over $90 billion and 97 nuclear waste cleanup projects with estimated costs over $230 billion. DOE has about 14,000 employees to oversee the work of more than 93,000 contractor employees. Due to DOE's history of inadequate oversight and management of contractors, GAO continues to include DOE contract and pro...
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...
Yucca Mountain: DOE Has Improved Its Quality Assurance Program, but Whether Its Application for a NRC License Will Be High Quality Is Unclear
GAO-07-1010: Published: Aug 2, 2007. Publicly Released: Aug 6, 2007.
Nuclear power reactors generate highly radioactive waste. To permanently store this waste, the Department of Energy (DOE) has been working to submit a license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain about 100 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada. Although the project has been beset with delays, in part because of persistent problems with its...
Nuclear Waste: DOE Should Reassess Whether the Bulk Vitrification Demonstration Project at Its Hanford Site Is Still Needed to Treat Radioactive Waste
GAO-07-762: Published: Jun 12, 2007. Publicly Released: Jun 12, 2007.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is demonstrating a technology called bulk vitrification, in parallel with the Hanford waste treatment plant, to treat a portion of the radioactive waste stored in 177 tanks at its Hanford site in southeastern Washington state. DOE faces technical and management problems that have affected the original objectives to justify demonstrating the bulk vitrification technol...
Yucca Mountain: DOE's Planned Nuclear Waste Repository Faces Quality Assurance and Management Challenges
GAO-06-550T: Published: Apr 25, 2006. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 2006.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is working to obtain a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to construct a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. The project, which began in the 1980s, has been beset by delays. In 2004, GAO raised concerns that persistent quality assurance problems could further delay the project. Then, in 2005, DOE announced discovery of employee e-m...
Nuclear Waste: Absence of Key Management Reforms on Hanford's Cleanup Project Adds to Challenges of Achieving Cost and Schedule Goals
GAO-04-611: Published: Jun 9, 2004. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 2004.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford Site in Washington State houses DOE's largest and most complex nuclear cleanup project--treating and preparing for disposal 55 million gallons of high-level radioactive waste. In 2000, DOE awarded an 11-year, $4.3 billion contract to design, construct, and test treatment facilities at Hanford. GAO was asked to review (1) efforts to accelerate the project's...
Yucca Mountain: Persistent Quality Assurance Problems Could Delay Repository Licensing and Operation
GAO-04-460: Published: Apr 30, 2004. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2004.
The Department of Energy (DOE) must obtain a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to construct a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In licensing, a quality assurance program helps ensure that the information used to demonstrate the safety of the repository is defensible and well documented. DOE developed a corrective action plan in 2002 to fix recurring problems wi...
Nuclear Waste: Challenges and Savings Opportunities in DOE's High-Level Waste Cleanup Program
GAO-03-930T: Published: Jul 17, 2003. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 2003.
The Department of Energy (DOE) oversees the treatment and disposal of 94 million gallons of highly radioactive nuclear waste from the nation's nuclear weapons program, currently at DOE sites in Washington, Idaho, and South Carolina. In 2002, DOE began an initiative to reduce the estimated $105-billion cost and 70-year time frame of this cleanup. GAO was asked to testify on the status of this initi...