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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×

Effectiveness and Efficiency of
Defense Environmental
Cleanup Activities
of
DOE’s Office of Environmental
Management

REPORT 1

Committee on Review of Effectiveness and Efficiency of
Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of the
Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management

Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board
Division on Earth and Life Studies

A Consensus Study Report of

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-EM0001172. This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-68576-4
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-68576-1
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/26000

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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE’s Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26000.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×

Image

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.

The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×

Image

Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.

For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×

COMMITTEE ON REVIEW OF EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY OF DEFENSE ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY’S OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

KATHARINE G. FRASE, NAE,1 International Business Machines Corporation (retired), Co-Chair

JOSEPH S. HEZIR, Energy Futures Initiative, Co-Chair

BURCU AKINCI, Carnegie Mellon University

JESUS M. DE LA GARZA, Clemson University

CLIFFORD C. EBY, Independent Consultant

G. EDWARD (EDD) GIBSON, JR., Arizona State University

GERALDINE KNATZ, NAE, University of Southern California

ROBERT PRIETO, Strategic Program Management, LLC

GEOFFREY S. ROTHWELL, Turner|Harris

KIRK SMITH,2 NAS,3 University of California, Berkeley

HANS A. VAN WINKLE, Van Winkle Consulting

Staff

PEYTON GIBSON, Associate Program Officer, Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment (BICE)

DARLENE GROS, Senior Program Assistant, Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board (NRSB)

JENNIFER A. HEIMBERG, Senior Program Officer, NRSB

HEATHER LOZOWSKI, Senior Finance Business Partner, Office of the Chief Financial Officer

MARTIN C. OFFUTT, Senior Program Officer, BICE, Study Director

JOSEPH L. PALMER, Senior Project Assistant, BICE

CHARLES D. FERGUSON, Director, NRSB

CAMERON OSKVIG, Director, BICE

___________________

1 Member, National Academy of Engineering.

2 Deceased, June 15, 2020.

3 Member, National Academy of Sciences.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×

BOARD ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND THE CONSTRUCTED ENVIRONMENT

THOMAS P. BOSTICK, NAE,1 Bostick Global Strategies, Chair

STEPHEN T. AYERS, The Ayers Group, LLC

DAVID GOODYEAR, NAE, Independent Consultant

DAVID J. HAUN, Haun Consulting, Inc.

SANJIV GOKHALE, Vanderbilt University

ANDREW PERSILY, National Institute of Standards and Technology

CHRIS D. POLAND, NAE, Chris D Poland Consulting Engineer

JAMES RISPOLI, North Carolina State University

DOROTHY ROBYN, Boston Institute for Sustainable Energy

SHARON L. WOOD, NAE, University of Texas, Austin

Staff

CAMERON OSKVIG, Board Director

MARTIN OFFUTT, Senior Program Officer

JOSEPH PALMER, Senior Program Assistant

PEYTON GIBSON, Associate Program Officer

___________________

1 Member, National Academy of Engineering.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×

NUCLEAR AND RADIATION STUDIES BOARD

GEORGE APOSTOLAKIS, NAE,1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (emeritus), Chair

JAMES A. BRINK, Massachusetts General Hospital, Vice Chair

SALLY A. AMUNDSON, Columbia University

STEVEN M. BECKER, Old Dominion University

AMY BERRINGTON DE GONZÁLEZ, National Cancer Institute

PAUL T. DICKMAN, Argonne National Laboratory

BONNIE D. JENKINS, Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security

ALLISON M. MACFARLANE, The University of British Columbia

R. JULIAN PRESTON, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park

HENRY D. ROYAL, Washington University School of Medicine

WILLIAM H. TOBEY, Harvard University

Staff

CHARLES D. FERGUSON, Director

JENNIFER HEIMBERG, Senior Program Officer

OURANIA KOSTI, Senior Program Officer

LAURA D. LLANOS, Finance Business Partner, Office of the Chief Financial Officer

DARLENE GROS, Senior Program Assistant

MELISSA FRANKS, Senior Program Assistant

___________________

1 Member, National Academy of Engineering.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×

Preface

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Environmental Management (EM) is currently responsible for 17 sites in the continental United States. These sites evolved from years of defense nuclear activities and from civilian and defense nuclear fuel cycle activities. All of them entail some form of soil and groundwater cleanup or treatment; building demolition and disposal (often on-site); or waste processing and immobilization—collectively “cleanups.” Some of these sites no longer support DOE missions while others lie situated on portions of larger reservations that continue mission activities to this day.

Starting in 1989, DOE elevated and consolidated the responsibility for the cleanups within the department and created an assistant secretary with line management responsibility. The new organization assumed responsibility for the on-site contractors who have cleaned up sites of varying size and complexity. By 2020 the number of sites the contractors were cleaning up had been reduced to 16 sites plus a 17th, a disposal site, representing a 90 percent reduction in land area.

The contracting model EM utilizes has evolved since 1989. Initially, management and operating (M&O) contracts were the norm, in which one contractor was responsible for activities at the site. Later DOE used cost-type contracts that had more specific work scope and performance-based awards and fees. By the mid-1990s, DOE began implementing so-called closure contracts, having designated certain facilities for accelerated closure.

The work of the Committee on Review of Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management stems from a request in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2019 (NDAA) to issue a report focused on the “effectiveness and efficiency” of the defense environmental cleanups in EM. The

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×

committee engaged with the various elements of the department that oversee and execute large projects. Through public meetings and written queries, the committee gathered information to answer its congressional charge from the NDAA. Many of the committee’s queries led to informative responses, while others continue to be the subject of inquiry. The committee has been the beneficiary of prior and ongoing reviews of this subject, including those initiated by the department and by Congress (and carried out by the U.S. Government Accountability Office [GAO], the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and others).

This first phase of the study provides DOE with recommendations on the execution of projects and the application and adequacy of its controls, oversight and directives. It also addresses how EM realizes projects through contracts. The report discusses how DOE can apply metrics to track project value and performance and on how contract performance can be measured. The second phase will address how EM manages and measures progress on cleanups both at the site level and the program level such as those that cut across more than one site (e.g., for Portsmouth and Paducah). The committee will also look at how these pieces are rolled-up into an EM-wide portfolio. The second phase will also consider how the policies and directives described by EM headquarters during the work on this first report are realized in projects at the sites. It will also consider further issues that obtain when considering the larger suite of EM activities, such as the cleanup and disposal liabilities ascribed to EM’s (currently 17) sites.

The committee wishes to thank the numerous individuals who briefed the committee and were responsive to information requests. The committee is particularly indebted to the staff of EM, including Rodney Lehman, Catherine Bohan, Norb Doyle, Paul Bosco, Dae Chung, and Beth Moore. The GAO was a great help, including Amanda Kolling and David Trimble who presented their own work on the subject and offered numerous insights accumulated from their extensive experience. The Congressional Budget Office assisted with budget information. Lastly, we were privileged to take part in a lengthy discussion of the report’s origin with Jonathan Epstein of the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

It was with great sadness that the committee learned of the death of one of its members, Kirk Smith, on June 15, 2020. During his career, Kirk studied and clarified the risk to human health of various uses of energy to provide services from electricity generation to simpler uses such as indoor cooking. The latter led him to widespread advocacy as he established for the first time the contribution of indoor cooking using firewood in developing countries to the global burden of disease. He also used his abilities to volunteer on community groups concerned with the disposition of formerly-used nuclear sites. The latter piqued his interest in the broader issue of nuclear waste cleanup, and he joined our committee with enthusiasm. A winner of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Kirk’s

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×

manner nonetheless concealed the towering figure he was, and his unassuming contributions to the committee’s work improved the rigor of the study and expanded it to consider the ultimate goal of the cleanups in reducing risk to human health. We are saddened that Kirk will not be with us for the second phase of study.

Katharine G. Frase and Joseph S. Hezir, Co-Chairs
Committee on Review of Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×

Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by RADM David Nash, NAE, Dave Nash & Associates

___________________

1 Member, National Academy of Engineering.

2 Member, National Academy of Sciences.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×

International, LLC, and by Lt. Gen. Henry Hatch, NAE, U.S. Army (retired). They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×
Page xvii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×
Page xviii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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Page xvii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
×
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Page xviii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26000.
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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies have conducted activities to develop atomic energy for civilian and defense purposes since the initiation of the World War II Manhattan Project in 1942. These activities took place at large federal land reservations of hundreds of square miles involving industrial-scale operations, but also at many smaller federal and non-federal sites such as uranium mines, materials processing and manufacturing facilities. The nuclear weapons and energy production activities at these facilities produced large quantities of radioactive and hazardous wastes and resulted in widespread groundwater and soil contamination at these sites. DOE initiated a concerted effort to clean up these sites beginning in the 1980s. Many of these sites have been remediated and are in long-term caretaker status, closed or repurposed for other uses.

Review of the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of the Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management: First Report provides background information on the sites currently assigned to the DOE's Office of Environmental Management that are undergoing cleanup; discusses current practices for management and oversight of the cleanups; offers findings and recommendations on such practices and how progress is measured against them; and considers the contracts under which the cleanups proceed and how these have been and can be structured to include incentives for improved cost and schedule performance.

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