Institutional Issues in the Planning and Implementation of a Program to Dispose of High-Level Radioactive Wastes
The Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for the siting, development, and operation of facilities to dispose of high level radioactive wastes (HLW). The complexity and nature of the implementing tasks facing the DOE program are examined by identifying the distribution of authority (formal and informal) and responsibility for implementing the HLW program among DOE and non-DOE actors and the conflicts between DOE and these other actors. The constraints on DOE's authority resulting from the power of other actors to influence the DOE HLW program combined with an environment which is continually changing imply the need for a form of dynamic planning and program implementation that we term strategic management. Strategic management permits DOE to set and modify program objectives in light of the overall program goals and the changing interests and power of influence of non-DOE actors. DOE has, thus far, been unable to develop the plans and strategies that are necessary to implement a HLW disposal program. The Note explores the reasons for this.