Nuclear Waste:

Status of DOE's Implementation of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act

RCED-87-17: Published: Apr 15, 1987. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 1987.

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GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) progress in implementing Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) requirements from October 1984 through December 31, 1985, specifically DOE efforts to identify locations for a second repository site.

GAO noted that NWPA required DOE to conduct a study of the need for a monitored retrievable storage facility to stop and monitor the waste prior to its permanent disposal in a repository. GAO found that DOE did not issue environmental assessments in 1985 because it needed additional time to revise its site-selection methodology. GAO also found that: (1) in December 1985, DOE issued a draft monitored retrievable storage proposal, but a federal district court prohibited DOE from submitting the proposal because it did not properly cooperate with the potential host state for a storage facility; (2) DOE developed a cost allocation proposal that established a fee for defense waste disposal; (3) the lack of cooperation among states resulted in a more costly waste management program; and (4) as of September 1986, there were 20 court cases challenging the DOE site-selection process and the decision to postpone site-specific work on the second repository.

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