Energy Supply Initiatives

EMD-78-92: Published: Jun 22, 1978. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 1978.

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Summaries are provided of various studies by the GAO Energy and Minerals Division to assist in the consideration of the Department of Energy's (DOE) proposed energy supply initiatives. A report, dated February 2, 1978, noted that more information would be helpful to justify existing and future funding levels in terms of the possible contributions that solar energy can make. It also pointed out that the benefits of solar energy in terms of energy production are not clear. Three reports dealt with actions to expedite the regulatory process: (1) the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) management process for evaluating nuclear powerplant designs and sites; (2) the failure of NRC to reduce leadtimes in building nuclear power plants; and (3) delays in the processing of construction permit applications. In terms of reducing institutional difficulties arising from development of new energy supplies, a July 1977 report discussed the need for additional federal assistance for Rocky Mountain communities that will be affected by energy resource development. A report dated August 24, 1976, concluded that synthetic fuels production, while technically feasible, is not cost effective. Several reports have addressed various aspects of coal production. Problems relevant to implementation of the Radioactive Waste Management Act of 1977 have been explored, and a September 1977 report noted that DOE had not yet demonstrated acceptable solutions for long-term storage and/or disposal of radioactive waste.

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