In February 2002, following years of rising costs to its nuclear waste cleanup program, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new initiative--the accelerated cleanup plan--and committed to reduce costs of cleanup by $50 billion, shorten the cleanup schedule by 35 years, and reduce risks to human health and the environment. GAO reviewed (1) the progress DOE has made under its accelerated cleanup plan, (2) the likelihood DOE will achieve its estimated $50 billion in cost reductions, and (3) whether DOE's performance reporting allows for a full understanding of progress toward achieving the accelerated plan goals.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Energy||1. To help DOE and the Congress monitor progress toward meeting DOE's accelerated cleanup plan cost and schedule goals, the Secretary of Energy should improve DOE's performance reporting so that there is a clearer, discernable relationship at the activity level between cleanup accomplishments and the costs incurred in doing the work.|
|Department of Energy||2. To help DOE and the Congress monitor progress toward meeting DOE's accelerated cleanup plan cost and schedule goals, the Secretary of Energy should identify in DOE's performance reporting to the Congress and others those performance measures that are the most critical to achieving cost and schedule goals, and summarize the progress on these measures and the potential impact of any problems that could affect achieving accelerated cleanup plan goals.|