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Open Recommendations

Nuclear Power: NRC Needs to Take Additional Actions to Prepare to License Advanced Reactors

GAO-23-105997
Aug 24, 2023
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4 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Nuclear Regulatory Commission The Chairman of NRC should direct staff to develop procedures for establishing and managing a review schedule for an incomplete application, including applications for first-of-a-kind designs. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission The Chairman of NRC should direct staff to finalize draft preapplication guidance to clarify the extent to which advanced reactor developers should participate in preapplication activities. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission The Chairman of NRC should direct staff to establish benchmarks and measures to assess its recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives and strategies to determine their effectiveness to help NRC retain and hire the staff necessary to license advanced reactors. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission The Chairman of NRC should direct staff to clarify in information provided to advanced reactor developers how and when they should engage with the ACRS during the licensing process. (Recommendation 4)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Electricity Grid: DOE Could Better Support Industry Efforts to Ensure Adequate Transformer Reserves

GAO-23-106180
Aug 02, 2023
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Energy The Secretary of Energy should establish a plan, including time frames as appropriate, to guide the agency's efforts to develop solutions and support for addressing transformer supply chain challenges. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Energy The Secretary of Energy should establish a plan, including time frames as appropriate, to guide the agency's support for utilities and facilitate greater participation in industry sharing efforts. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Power Marketing Administrations: Additional Steps Are Needed to Better Manage Climate-Related Risks

GAO-23-106224
Mar 30, 2023
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7 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Southeastern Power Administration The Administrator of the Southeastern Power Administration should direct staff to develop a climate change vulnerability assessment that identifies critical assets, infrastructure systems, and programs vulnerable to climate change. (Recommendation 1)
Open
DOE agreed with this recommendation. In its written statement, DOE stated that SEPA will complete a Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Plan in calendar year 2023 that will identify critical assets, infrastructure systems, and programs vulnerable to climate change.
Southeastern Power Administration The Administrator of the Southeastern Power Administration should direct staff to develop a resilience plan that identifies and prioritizes climate resilience measures needed to address climate-related risks. (Recommendation 2)
Open
DOE agreed with this recommendation. In its written response, DOE stated that SEPA will complete a Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Plan in calendar year 2023 that identifies and prioritizes climate resilience measures needed to address climate-related risks.
Southeastern Power Administration The Administrator of the Southeastern Power Administration should direct staff to establish a plan to routinely reassess its vulnerability assessment and resilience plan to incorporate updated information about climate science and implemented resilience measures. (Recommendation 3)
Open
DOE agreed with this recommendation. In its written response, DOE stated that SEPA's Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Plan will be reassessed every four years to incorporate updated information about climate science and implemented measures.
Western Area Power Administration The Administrator of the Western Area Power Administration should direct staff to develop a climate change vulnerability assessment that identifies critical assets, infrastructure systems, and programs vulnerable to climate change. (Recommendation 4)
Open
DOE agreed with this recommendation. In its written response, DOE stated that WAPA will complete a Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Plan in calendar year 2023 that will identify critical assets, infrastructure systems, and programs vulnerable to climate change.
Western Area Power Administration The Administrator of the Western Area Power Administration should direct staff to develop a resilience plan that identifies and prioritizes climate resilience measures needed to address climate-related risks. (Recommendation 5)
Open
DOE agreed with this recommendation. In its written response, DOE stated that WAPA will complete a Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Plan in calendar year 2023 that identifies and prioritizes climate resilience measures needed to address climate-related risks.
Western Area Power Administration The Administrator of the Western Area Power Administration should direct staff to establish a plan to routinely reassess its vulnerability assessment and resilience plan to incorporate updated information about climate science and implemented resilience measures. (Recommendation 6)
Open
DOE agreed with this recommendation. In its written response, DOE stated that WAPA's Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Plan will be reassessed every four years to incorporate updated information about climate science and implemented measures.

Department of Energy Contracting: Additional Actions Could Further Strengthen Competition

GAO-23-105209
Jan 24, 2023
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8 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Nuclear Security Administration The Associate Administrator for NNSA's Office of Partnership and Acquisition Services should hold periodic meetings to share information with industry about how competitions are conducted and how offers are evaluated, including any changes in agency practices. (Recommendation 1)
Open
NNSA concurred in principle with our recommendation and officials described actions the agency is already taking to share information with industry. However, most of these actions focus on specific competitions. We continue to believe that NNSA's existing processes could be enhanced by additional communication with industry that is independent of specific competitions. We will continue to monitor NNSA's efforts to address this recommendation.
Department of Energy The Director of DOE's Office of Science should hold periodic meetings to share information with industry about how competitions are conducted and how offers are evaluated, including any changes in agency practices. (Recommendation 2)
Open
DOE concurred with our recommendation and officials provided examples of the types of meetings the Office of Science holds when conducting specific competitions, stating that the Office will continue these efforts. However, as our report states, communications during specific competitions may not fully address industry perceptions that may hinder competition. Consistent with OMB guidance, other DOE components and executive branch agencies have made efforts to communicate with industry beyond specific competitions. We continue to believe that additional communication with industry--independent of specific competitions--could help address industry perceptions about the fairness of the award process and, in turn, remove barriers to competition. We will continue to monitor DOE's efforts to address this recommendation.
Department of Energy The Assistant Secretary for EM should use structured mechanisms for soliciting information on how entities decide whether to submit an offer for a solicitation, such as through periodic reverse industry day events. (Recommendation 3)
Open
DOE concurred with our recommendation and officials stated that the agency will further consider process improvements to their current industry day events, including reverse industry day events. DOE estimated that they would complete action on this recommendation in September 2023. We will continue to monitor DOE's efforts to address this recommendation.
National Nuclear Security Administration The Associate Administrator for NNSA's Office of Partnership and Acquisition Services should use structured mechanisms for soliciting information on how entities decide whether to submit an offer for a solicitation, such as through periodic reverse industry day events. (Recommendation 4)
Open
NNSA concurred in principle with our recommendation and officials described actions the agency is already taking to obtain information from industry. However, NNSA's stated actions focus on specific competitions. We continue to believe that NNSA's existing processes could be enhanced by additional communication with industry that is independent of specific competitions. We will continue to monitor NNSA's efforts to address this recommendation.
Department of Energy The Director of DOE's Office of Science should use structured mechanisms for soliciting information on how entities decide whether to submit an offer for a solicitation, such as through periodic reverse industry day events. (Recommendation 5)
Open
DOE concurred with our recommendation and officials stated that the Office of Science would continue to solicit feedback with industry during specific competitions. However, these planned efforts do not provide a structured mechanism for obtaining feedback independent of a specific competition and would not, for example, allow the Office of Science to obtain information from entities that decided not to submit an offer. We continue to believe that, by using structured mechanisms such as reverse industry day events, which OMB says can provide valuable information on the perceptions of industry, the Office of Science could better understand and address factors that may hinder competition. We will continue to monitor NNSA's efforts to address this recommendation.
Department of Energy The Director of DOE's Office of Acquisition Management should determine whether using structured mechanisms for soliciting industry feedback on entities' offer decisions, such as through periodic reverse industry day events, would be appropriate for smaller DOE offices with fewer large competitions. Depending on that determination, DOE's Office of Acquisition Management should share information with those offices as appropriate. (Recommendation 6)
Open
DOE concurred with our recommendation and officials stated that the Office of Management would further consider process improvements to current industry day events, including reverse industry day events. DOE estimated that the Office would complete action on this recommendation in September 2023. We will continue to monitor DOE's efforts to address this recommendation.
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