Nuclear Waste:

DOE's Budgeting Process for Grants to Nevada Needs Revision

RCED-90-20: Published: Oct 20, 1989. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 1989.

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GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) process for budgeting funds for financial assistance to Nevada for independent testing and monitoring activities at the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal site.

GAO found that: (1) DOE did not evaluate Nevada's funding needs in developing its financial assistance budget; (2) DOE could have to fund Nevada's testing activities regardless of whether it adequately budgeted for them, since a court decided that DOE could not decline to fund the activities if they met certain criteria; (3) DOE could not meet its commitment to support an appropriate amount of grant funds to Nevada for independent technical oversight of DOE activities without evaluating Nevada's grant request; and (4) Nevada had difficulty submitting a detailed grant request early enough for DOE to evaluate the request because it needed specific information about DOE activities.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOE does not believe it can require Nevada to submit the financial assistance needs data.

    Recommendation: To ensure that DOE considers Nevada's financial assistance requirements in formulating its nuclear waste program budget, the Secretary of Energy should require Nevada to provide information on its financial assistance needs on a schedule that permits DOE to evaluate the state's funding requests in preparing its budget.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy


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