Response to Questions Clarifying a Previous GAO Report on the Department of Energy's Breeder Reactor Program

EMD-81-83: Published: May 4, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1981.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO was requested to respond to questions clarifying the information contained in a prior report about the Department of Energy's (DOE) breeder reactor program. The information requested included: (1) the best available estimate by GAO of the cost of construction of the Clinch River liquid metal fast breeder reactor (LMFBR) after adjusting for inflation and cost overruns; (2) alternative strategies open to Congress if it wants to maintain a breeder program; (3) the specific electricity demand assumptions used in the GAO estimates; (4) the French experience with its own breeder program with regard to cost overruns, revised estimates of the capital cost of light-water reactors, and revised estimates of the cost per kilowatt-hour of breeder-produced electricity; (5) considerations given, on a cost-benefit basis, to alternative technologies that could meet future demand for electricity and the need for oil displacement; (6) effect certain improvements in nonbreeder reactors would have in extending uranium resources; and (7) a symmetrical comparison to compare the most recent projections with those made at the inception of the Clinch River project.

In response, GAO stated: (1) the total estimated cost for the Clinch River plant is now about $3196.5 million; (2) there are alternative strategies available to Congress in developing breeder reactor technology; (3) the prior report stated that a cutoff of Persian Gulf oil could increase the future demand for nuclear power; (4) accurate information on the actual costs of the French breeder reactors is difficult to obtain because the information is closely held by the French Government; (5) no analysis was made of the relative merits of breeder reactors versus other emerging energy supply technologies; (6) there are two general directions in which nonbreeder reactor developments could move to reduce uranium ore requirements for U.S.-generated nuclear power; and (7) the answers are not conducive to presentation in a symmetrical or tabular format.

Sep 14, 2016

Sep 8, 2016

Aug 11, 2016

Aug 9, 2016

Aug 4, 2016

Jul 15, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jun 20, 2016

Mar 3, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here