Nuclear Waste:

Change in Test Strategy Sound, but DOE Overstated Savings

RCED-95-44: Published: Dec 27, 1994. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 1995.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) decision to abandon underground testing of nuclear wastes at its Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in favor of laboratory-based tests, focusing on whether: (1) the decision is scientifically sound; and (2) DOE projected cost and time savings estimates are realistic.

GAO found that: (1) scientists, experts, regulators, and others interested in WIPP generally feel that the DOE decision to discontinue underground tests is sound; (2) laboratory testing appears to be more scientifically viable and can be more safely controlled than underground testing; (3) DOE projected cost savings are not realistic, since they are based on incomplete and inconsistent documentation; (4) DOE projected savings are questionable, since DOE could incur new costs for initiatives related to the cancellation of underground testing; (5) DOE will not achieve its objective of opening WIPP by January 1998, but it could begin disposal operations by 2000; and (6) numerous unresolved issues, both within and beyond DOE control, could affect DOE disposal operations at WIPP.

Sep 8, 2017

Sep 5, 2017

May 26, 2017

May 25, 2017

May 24, 2017

May 17, 2017

May 3, 2017

May 1, 2017

Apr 26, 2017

Apr 11, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here