"The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) has not fully followed selected project management best practices in managing the reengineering of the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit (IWTU) … to treat 900,000 gallons of liquid sodium-bearing waste (SBW)”, the report said.
The Energy Department completed a treatment complex for one form of the waste in 2012, the GAO acknowledged.
However, “initial testing revealed problems and a need for more work […] We found [the Energy Department] could improve how it manages the work. [The Energy Department] may also need to retrofit the facility to treat the other form of waste”, the report said.
Total spending on the waste treatment project approached $1 billion in February 2019, the GAO noted.
The Energy Department must treat all 2 million gallons of this waste and prepare it for removal from Idaho by 2035, the report added.