Dealing With Major Problem Areas in the Nuclear Defense Complex Expected to Cost Over $100 Billion

T-RCED-88-53: Published: Jul 13, 1988. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 1988.

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GAO discussed problems with the Department of Energy's (DOE) nuclear defense complex. GAO noted that the major problem areas DOE must address include: (1) facility, equipment, and capability upgrades to meet nuclear defense needs and to ensure safe and environmentally acceptable operation; (2) environmental restoration to clean up existing contamination at DOE installations; and (3) safe radioactive waste disposal and nuclear facility decontamination. GAO also noted that: (1) a DOE report regarding its corrective actions to address environmental, safety, and health concerns primarily cited costs for normal operating needs and did not include costs for radioactive waste disposal, facility decontamination, or capability upgrades; and (2) analysis of preliminary DOE data indicated that it could cost between $100 billion and $130 billion to address the complex's problem areas. GAO believes that DOE should: (1) obtain outside, independent oversight of its operations; and (2) develop a comprehensive strategy to address the complex's problems.

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