Introductory Remarks

The U.S. lacks a nuclear waste disposition program. Despite demonstrating technical competency, the country has yet to implement a policy, notably for its excess defense plutonium. The Department of Energy (DOE), the agency responsible for management of supporting activities for the nuclear weapons complex, historically has demonstrated management challenges. Unless the agency can overcome the challenges that exist in its current state, the U.S. will be unable to move forward with implementing any disposition policy. The DOE’s management practices in offices overseeing nuclear waste disposition and lack of action has generated public mistrust. In order to effectively implement disposition policy, in the future, the DOE must address these challenges and rebuild its relationship with the general public.