Federal, state and local governments play increasingly important roles in the U.S. economy, with a 1998 GDP of approximately $1,105 billion. While the government owns and operates large asssets under various departments, the Department of Defense (DOD) was selected because of its significant direct and indirect impact on the U.S. economy. A second government sector that was selected is nuclear waste storage under the Department of Energy (DOE). The cost of corrosion in these two sectors was used to estimate the cost of corrosion for the government category. This cost was $20.1 billion per year, which is 14.6% of the corrosion costs for all sector categories in this study.
Corrosion of military equipment and facilities has been, for many years, a significant and ongoing problem. The corrosion-related problems are becoming more prominent as the acquisition of new equipment is decreasing and the reliability required of aging systems is increasing. The data provided by the military services (Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps) indicate that corrosion is potentially the number one cost driver in life cycle costs. The total annual direct cost of corrosion incurred by the military service for systems and infrastructure is approximately $20 billion.
Nuclear wastes are generated from spent nuclear fuel, dismantled nuclear weapons, and products such as radio pharmaceuticals. The most important design item for the safe storage of nuclear waste is effective shielding of radiation. Corrosion is an important issue in the design of the casks used for permanent storage with a design life of several thousand years. A 1998 total life cycle cost analysis by DOE for the permanent disposal of nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain, Nevada estimated the total repository cost by the construction phase (2002) at $4.9 billion with an average annual cost (from 1999 to 2116) of $205 million. Of this cost, $42.2 million is corrosion-related.