The Department of Energy (DOE) is the body of government that oversees and funds research into high energy sources that include nuclear energy, fusion energy sources, and high energy physics. The department provides over 40% of funding into these research programs for graduate students, principal investigators, and other researchers in the high-energy fields. DOE also plays an important role in the national health care system by supplying radioisotopes which are used to manage and treat medical problems including cancer and heart disease. The department sponsors research at universities focusing on science, energy, and climate change (Science and Technology, 2001)
Energy is very important for the development of any economy. Governments and businesses depend on it for transport, lighting, manufacturing, and so on. The DOE is tasked with the development of clean and renewable fuel sources, through research and development, and ensuring the most efficient use of the available imported oil. Modern high energy power sources like nuclear power plants and fission plants are encouraged as they produce clean renewable energy.DOE participates in modernizing the energy infrastructure to support these fuels and still conserve the environment. Wind, hydro and geothermal energy are also being explored as they are clean sources of energy and occur in copiousness (Energy sources, 2001).
Under the DOE is the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).EERE’s objective is to develop energy-efficient systems for all energy-dependent industries, homes, transport systems, and business premises. It also aims to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and ensure the development of clean, reliable, and pocket-friendly energy sources. There is a high investment by the federal government in terms of resources, research, and development of high-risk and high-value energy options that are vital to the achievement of energy sustainability. EERE brings together the private sector, federal government, and universities to develop clean and responsible energy solutions (Energy Efficiency, 2001)
The DOE holds an important role in ensuring a clean and sustainable environment. It is responsible for the clean-up of dirty sites and the safe disposal of nuclear wastes from power plants and nuclear-powered vessels. The department must also come up with strategies to minimize the dangers associated with nuclear power production. This is achieved by ensuring proper transportation and disposal of nuclear waste and safe storage of radioactive wastes. Protection of the environment is another key issue that has to be tackled by the DOE.DOE has to come up with environmental policies that ensure the protection of humanity from harmful radiation. Intensive research has and is continually being done to ensure this under DOE and other stakeholders (The Environment, 2001).
Prices and Trends
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is the wing of DOE that ensures sound policy drawing by providing statistical data and objective analyses on energy and its impact on the environment and matters economy (Prices and Trends, 2001).
In terms of national security, The DOE is responsible for providing safe and effective nuclear power, ensuring nuclear safety internationally, and safety of nuclear weapons nationally and internationally. Since DOE continually develops and uses emerging technology, it depends on cyber security systems to protect its info systems. The DOE is also responsible for the management of security operations and management of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear non-proliferation (National Security, 2001).
Featured Publications & Reports
The DOE has a weekly publication that provides an in-depth analysis of fuel prices to keep the public in the know about the price trends (Featured Publications & Reports, 2001)
Safety and Health
Safety is a key issue at the DOE.DOE is strongly dedicated to safeguarding its employees, the environment, and the nation as a whole. The Offices of Health, Safety and Security and Environmental Management and Civilian Radioactive Waste Management have been established under the DOE to ensure the safety of staff, responsible environmental management, and safe use, storage, and handling of nuclear wastes (Safety and Health, 2001).