ABSTRACT

Nuclear Waste Disposal: Better Planning Needed to Avoid Potential Disruptions at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, Report to Congressional Committees   [open pdf - 7MB]

From the Highlights: "DOE's [Department of Energy] WIPP [Waste Isolation Pilot Plant] is the nation's only deep geologic repository for the disposal of defense-related nuclear waste. DOE suspended operations at WIPP after two accidents in 2014 and resumed on a limited scale in 2017. DOE has initiated two projects to improve WIPP's underground ventilation system and allow full disposal operations to resume. However, DOE estimates WIPP's existing physical space will be full around 2025, and DOE faces a statutory limitation on how much waste can be disposed of at WIPP. Senate Report No. 115-125 accompanying a bill for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 includes a provision for GAO [Government Accountability Office] to review DOE's actions to bring WIPP towards full operational status. This report examines DOE's (1) plans to meet needs for physical space at WIPP without exceeding WIPP's statutory capacity, (2) challenges to completing key ventilation projects, and (3) plans for adding physical space at WIPP without interruption to operations."

Report Number:
GAO-21-48
Publisher:
Date:
2020-11
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
Help with citations