Michael Bastasch offers federal taxpayers some disturbing news in a Daily Caller report.

The Department of Energy spent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on a radioactive waste treatment plant that ended up breaking down because federal officials didn’t bother to properly test the facility before construction was completed, according to a recent audit.

Federal auditors learned DOE officials likely rushed the building of the waste treatment plant because of political pressure from Congress to come in under budget. Poor management, however, means the project could cost more than $700 million and is more than 4 years behind schedule.

“Specifically, we found that the Department postponed rigorous, comprehensive performance testing; an activity intended to demonstrate the facility’s capability to function as intended and meet mission need, until after construction was declared complete,” reads a recent report by the DOE’s inspector general.

“However, by postponing the comprehensive performance test, the Department failed to perform a rigorous test of the functionality of the facility before construction was declared complete,” according to the IG’s report. “Had the testing been performed prior to declaring the project complete, the Department may have identified the flaws in the original design and corrected them under the discipline of its project management process.” …

… The facility was supposed to be completed in 2012, but a “system pressure event” forced the plant to be shut down shortly after being turned on. It has not been reopened, which the IG blamed on mismanagement by federal officials.

Essentially, DOE officials decided not to properly test the facility before it was completed. Simply testing the project before turning it on could have stopped the facility from suffering a “system pressure event” and shutting down.