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High-Level Waste Repository
The program ensures that high-level waste (including both spent-nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste) that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) transports to, and disposes of, in a geologic repository, is disposed of in a manner that protects public health, safety, security, and the environment.
What This Rating Means
This is the highest rating a program can achieve. Programs rated Effective set ambitious goals, achieve results, are well-managed and improve efficiency.
- The program's purpose and design are clear and sound. The program creates a regulatory system to ensure public health, safety, security, and environment, if and when the repository is constructed and operated by DOE, as embodied in the two strategic goals of the program, namely safety and security, and in the supporting process-oriented goals of openness and effectiveness.
- Regular, independent assessments have helped the program become more results-focused. An OIG audit found the program satisfies NRC's Nuclear Waste Policy Act responsibilities and carries out its prelicensing functions. In response to the audit recommendation to improve communications, the program developed a communications plan to address the issues and enhanced its public outreach team.
- The program achieves its long term safety and security goals for regulating high-level waste in a geologic repository. Annual output measures, which the program meets, mirror long-term strategies and means in the Strategic Plan, and indicates significant progress toward meeting the goal of establishing a regulatory system to ensure the repository achieves long-term safety and security goals.