September 29, 2022 – The Department of Energy is responsible for disposing of certain low‐level nuclear waste from medical equipment, metals in nuclear reactors, and cleanup sites. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 required DOE to assess the potential environmental effects of various disposal options. No legal options currently exist.
DOE’s assessments were extensive but didn’t give rationales for preferring certain disposal options. They also weren’t clear on the amount of waste that will need disposal—key information for decision makers.
We recommended ways to improve transparency. We also suggested that Congress consider addressing legal barriers to waste disposal. Link to GAO Document