Nuclear Health and Safety:

Dealing With Problems in the Nuclear Defense Complex Expected to Cost Over $100 Billion

RCED-88-197BR: Published: Jul 6, 1988. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO examined problem areas in the Department of Energy's (DOE) nuclear defense facilities and the estimated costs to resolve the problems.

GAO found that DOE will need to: (1) upgrade its existing nuclear facilities to meet defense needs and to ensure that the facilities conform to safety and environmental standards; (2) clean up most of the groundwater contamination in all its facilities, including those at inactive waste sites; (3) develop adequate groundwater monitoring procedures and quality assurance programs at several sites; and (4) dispose of high-level radioactive wastes in all of its facilities. GAO also found that recent DOE cost data indicate that it will cost from $100 billion to over $130 billion to address these problems and another $15 billion to $25 billion to cover expanded capability costs and relocation costs.

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