|2014 GAO Report
SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL MANAGEMENT
Outreach Needed to Help Gain Public Acceptance for Federal Activities That Address Liability
DOE is responsible for disposing of commercial spent nuclear fuel. DOE entered into contracts with owners and generators of spent nuclear fuel to begin disposing of it beginning in 1998, with plans for disposal in a national repository. DOE, however, was unable to meet the 1998 date and, as a result of lawsuits, the federal government has paid out about $3.7 billion for storage costs. DOE proposed a new strategy in January 2013 to build consolidated interim storage facilities—starting operations in 2021 and 2025. GAO was asked to review issues related to DOE’s strategy for managing spent nuclear fuel.
What GAO Recommends — DOE should implement a coordinated outreach strategy to better inform the public about federal spent nuclear fuel management issues. DOE generally agreed with the findings and recommendation in the report.