ABSTRACT

Nuclear Waste: Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Recovery Demonstrates Cost and Schedule Requirements Needed for DOE Cleanup Operations, Report to Congressional Committees   [open pdf - 2MB]

"Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is the only deep geologic repository for the disposal of U.S. defense-related nuclear waste. In February 2014, waste operations were suspended following a truck fire and an unrelated radiological release. DOE estimated in February 2015 that it would complete recovery activities and restart limited waste operations by March 2016. To resume full operations, DOE planned to build a new ventilation system at WIPP. DOE completed an analysis of alternatives (AOA) to identify the best solution for this system in December 2015. The Senate Report accompanying a bill for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 included a provision for GAO [Government Accountability Office] to review WIPP operations. This report examines the extent to which DOE (1) met its initial cost and schedule estimates for restarting waste disposal operations, and (2) followed best practices in analyzing and selecting an alternative for the new ventilation system. GAO examined documentation on the WIPP recovery estimates. GAO compared DOE's February 2015 cost and schedule estimates and AOA with best practices GAO published. GAO recommends that DOE require cleanup operations to follow best practices for cost and schedule estimates and require projects, including the WIPP ventilation system, to implement recommendations from independent AOA reviews or document the reasons for not doing so. DOE concurred with the recommendations."

Report Number:
GAO-16-608
Publisher:
Date:
2016-08-04
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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