Nuclear Waste:

DOE Has Terminated Research Evaluating Crystalline Rock for a Repository

RCED-89-148: Published: May 22, 1989. Publicly Released: May 22, 1989.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO assessed whether and to what extent the Department of Energy (DOE) complied with requirements to phase out funding for all existing research programs that evaluated the suitability of crystalline rock as a potential host medium for a nuclear waste repository.

GAO found that DOE: (1) terminated funding for research programs that specifically evaluated crystalline rock suitability for a repository; (2) continued other research efforts involving crystalline rock because it would provide information useful in evaluating the suitability of Yucca Mountain for a potential repository; (3) believed that it brought the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management's activities into compliance with Nuclear Waste Policy Act amendments while maintaining international relations that were useful to the nuclear waste program; and (4) redirected some research activities to contribute to reinvestigating and developing the Yucca Mountain site.

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