ABSTRACT

Nuclear Waste Cleanup: Hanford Site Cleanup Costs Continue to Rise, but Opportunities Exist to Save Tens of Billions of Dollars   [open pdf - 4MB]

From the Document: "The Hanford Site in Washington State is home to one of the largest environmental cleanup projects in the world. It comprises a 586-square-mile campus established in 1943 to conduct research on and produce weapons-grade nuclear materials. After these activities ceased in the late 1980s, the Department of Energy (DOE) began cleanup of the resulting hazardous and radioactive waste. This waste includes 54 million gallons of liquids and sludge stored in 177 large underground waste storage tanks at the site. This waste must be retrieved and treated (immobilized) before disposal, according to legal requirements and agreements made with federal and state environmental regulators. Other cleanup activities at the site include decommissioning old facilities and decontaminating soil and groundwater. In 2022, DOE estimated that completing cleanup of the entire site would cost between $300 billion and $640 billion and take decades.1 Over the last 5 fiscal years, the site has received annual appropriations of about $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion. DOE manages the Hanford cleanup through two separate offices: the Office of River Protection, which oversees the tank waste cleanup mission, and the Richland Operations Office, which oversees site cleanup not related to the waste in the tanks. For each of the last 5 fiscal years, the tank waste mission received appropriations of about $1.6 billion dollars, while the Richland Operations Office received about $0.9 billion."

Report Number:
GAO-22-105809
Publisher:
Date:
2022-07-29
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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