Full Title: Nuclear Waste Cleanup: DOE Needs to Address Weaknesses in Program and Contractor Management at Los Alamos
Author(s): United States Government Accountability Office
Publisher(s): United States Government Accountability Office
Publication Date: July 15, 2023
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The federal government established the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1943 to conduct nuclear weapons research and development activities to support our nation’s defense. Over the years, these activities have necessitated cleanup in three areas: (1) soil and groundwater remediation, (2) legacy waste removal, and (3) deactivation and decommissioning of contaminated facilities.
In 2014, DOE established EM-LA to clean up waste at Los Alamos. To help address cleanup challenges at Los Alamos and other sites, EM issued a Program Management Protocol in 2020.
The Senate committee report that accompanied a bill for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 includes a provision for GAO to, among other things, assess the status of cleanup at Los Alamos. This report examines issues including (1) the steps EM-LA has taken to implement EM’s Program Management Protocol and (2) EM-LA’s oversight of contractor performance. GAO reviewed EM-LA documents related to the Program Management Protocol and contractor oversight and interviewed EM and EM-LA officials.