Nuclear Waste:

Issues Concerning DOE's Postponement of Second Repository Siting Activities

RCED-86-200FS: Published: Jul 30, 1986. Publicly Released: Aug 12, 1986.


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In response to a congressional request, GAO reported on the Department of Energy's (DOE) second nuclear waste repository program in light of its decision to indefinitely postpone all DOE site-specific work on a second repository.

GAO found that: (1) as the result of the postponement decision, DOE planned to curtail all second-repository site-specific activities, including financial assistance to individual states involved in the program, by the end of 1986; (2) a continued program would focus on technical issues and alternate siting strategies for a second repository, with an emphasis on cooperating with other countries on related research programs; (3) projections of the amount of defense waste for disposal in future repositories were uncertain; (4) as of May 31, 1986, the cumulative cost of the second-repository program was about $63.5 million; (5) DOE expected that a monitored retrievable storage facility would provide added flexibility to a single-repository system, and allow DOE to temporarily meet waste acceptance commitments to utilities in the event of a problem at the repository site; and (6) DOE had not initiated socioeconomic studies on tentatively identified second-repository sites at the time of the postponement decision.

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