Nuclear Waste via Cleveland

jonathan flanders jon_flanders at
Thu Jan 27 21:13:33 MST 2000

<There would be an average of 2(nuclear waste) rail shipments per week
every week for at least 25 years. The majority of the rail shipments would
travel through Cleveland.>excerpt from this article

 Public Hearing to Consider Nuclear Waste Shipment Through Cleveland, Ohio
the Midwest

     CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Jan. 27, 2000--On Friday, January 28, the U.S.
Department of Energy (DOE) will hold a public hearing regarding the
transportation of thousands of tons of deadly radioactive wastes through
Cleveland, the State of Ohio, and other states, over a period of three

     "Because DOE has not publicized the true intent of the hearing,
communities and individuals may not be aware of it, or of the federal
behind it," said Bob Loux of the Nevada Governor's Office.

     At the January 28 hearing, to be held at the Holiday Inn, Lakeside
Center, 1111 Lakeside Avenue, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and in the evening
6 p.m. through 9 p.m., DOE will accept public comments on the proposal to
construct and operate a repository for spent nuclear reactor fuel and
high-level radioactive waste at Nevada's Yucca Mountain. Because of the
locations of nuclear power plants and defense nuclear facilities that would

ship spent fuel and highly radioactive wastes to a Nevada facility, the
Cleveland area would be heavily impacted by Yucca Mountain-related
transportation. In a preliminary review of DOE's draft Environmental Impact

Statement for the Yucca Mountain project, the Nevada Agency for Nuclear
Projects found that:

--   Under the least impacting scenario, between 2,700 and 4,200 rail

     shipments of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste

     would pass through Ohio. There would be an average of 2 rail

     shipments per week every week for at least 25 years. The majority

     of the rail shipments would travel through Cleveland.

--   In addition to the rail shipments, between 1,600 and 2,300 truck

     shipments from New England and New York nuclear reactors would

     also travel through the Cleveland and Toledo metropolitan areas

     on I-80 and I-90.

--   Under a shipping scenario where most of the spent fuel and

     high-level waste is shipped by truck, between 11,200 and 18,900

     shipments would impact the Cleveland and Toledo metropolitan

     areas on I-90 and I-80, an average of 1.3 truckloads per day

     every day for 24 to 39 years. Maps showing nuclear waste shipping

     routes are attached as files and can also be found on the web at and

--   Under either scenario, the number of shipments through Cleveland

     will substantially exceed the total number of such shipments

     nationally during the entire history of the U.S. Nuclear power


--   Studies by the State of Nevada indicate that these shipments are

     vulnerable to severe accidents and could become attractive

     targets for sabotage and terrorism.

     Nuclear waste transportation expert Robert J. Halstead will be
for media interviews before, during, and after the hearing. Halstead can be

reached at 608/742-3973 or through the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects

   Statement of Robert J. Halstead on Behalf of the State of Nevada Agency
for Nuclear Projects Regarding U.S. Department of Energy Draft

   Environmental Impact Statement for a Geologic Repository for the

  Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at

                        Yucca Mountain, Nevada

                  Presented at the Public Hearing in

                           Cleveland, Ohio

                           January 28, 2000

     The manner in which the comment period and public hearings for the
Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed Yucca Mountain
High-Level Radioactive Waste Repository have been noticed by DOE is
misleading and intended to suppress public participation and public
Notices make no reference to the specific transportation routes, the types
and volumes of shipments along each route, and the impacts to specific
communities along identified routes; nor is such information to be found in

the draft EIS document.

     The State of Nevada has attempted to address these issues in comments
delivered at various public hearings around the country. The State's
preliminary transportation comments have addressed specific deficiencies in

DOE's DEIS regarding the radiological hazards of the SNF and HLW that DOE
proposes to ship to Yucca Mountain, the shipment modes and routes, the
associated with legal weight truck (LWT) transport, the vulnerability of
shipments to human initiated events including terrorism and sabotage, DOE's

failure to identify a preferred rail access corridor to Yucca Mountain, and

DOE's failure to demonstrate the feasibility of heavy haul truck (HHT)
transportation from an intermodal transfer station to the proposed
repository, impacts of rail construction and operation, impacts on Native
American lands and cultural resources, and social and economic impacts of
public perception of transportation risks. These statements are available
the web at

     The draft EIS fails to identify the specific transportation routes for

spent fuel and HLW shipments from specific reactor and generator locations
Yucca Mountain despite the fact that these routes were identified as part
the analyses contained in the transportation appendix and references. DOE,
effect, has chosen to hide these routes and simply report the analyses in a

generic fashion. The State of Nevada has been able, after considerable
effort, to "back out" those specific routes from modeling data contained in

DEIS references. Those routes make Ohio the gateway to Yucca Mountain for
of the commercial nuclear power reactors in the Northeastern and Middle
Atlantic states, but the DEIS makes no specific reference to transportation

impacts in Ohio.

     Under the DEIS mostly truck scenario, DOE's preferred Nevada route to
Yucca Mountain is I-15, the Las Vegas Beltway (I-215), and US 95. Using the

HIGHWAY model, DOE contractors generated national routes from the 77
sites to connect with the Las Vegas Beltway. These national routes are not
revealed in the DEIS, but they are disclosed in the DEIS references, which
can be accessed on the worldwide web at

     The routes used for the mostly truck impact analysis in the DEIS
correspond to actual cross-country routes to I-15 and the Las Vegas
These routes generally are I-80 for shipments from the Northeastern and
Central states, I-70 for shipments from Southeastern and Midwestern states,

and I-10 and I-40 for shipments from South Central and Southwestern states.

Shipments from the Pacific Northwest and Idaho use I-84 and I-15. Shipments

from Arizona and California use I-5, I-10, and I-15. (See DEIS reference
1999udata, Chapter 4, file bt-map.prn. The origin-destination distances
generated in miles in this file correspond to the origin-destination
distances given in kilometers in DEIS Table J-11.) The DEIS compares the
transportation impacts calculated for the preferred route with impacts for
six potential alternative routes identified by the State of Nevada to
minimize shipments through the Las Vegas Valley. (See Table J-48.)      The

highway routes used in the DEIS make Ohio a major corridor state for truck
shipments to Yucca Mountain. Three of the principal truck routes from
reactors enter Ohio from Pennsylvania on I-90, I-80, and I-76; converge on
the Ohio Turnpike (I-80/I-90) at Elyria; and then continue west through
Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa on I-80. These routes traverse the Cleveland
Toledo metropolitan areas, and more than 300 miles on rural Ohio interstate

highways. Truck shipments through Ohio are presented in Table 1. Under the
mostly truck scenario, proposed action, about 11,2000 truck shipments of
and HLW (about 22% of the total) traverse Ohio over 24 years. Under the
mostly truck scenario, modules 1 & 2, about 18,900 truckloads of SNF and
(about 20% of the total) traverse Ohio over 39 years. Under either
an average of 1.3 trucks per day would travel through Ohio every day for
decades. Additionally, Ohio would be traversed by 100 to 200 truckloads of
greater-than-Class-C low level radioactive wastes from commercial reactors
Yucca Mountain during the same time period.

     Rail shipments to Yucca Mountain would also heavily impact Ohio. The
DEIS evaluated four rail routing scenarios using the INTERLINE model. Under

the DEIS routing scenarios, two major streams of rail shipments to Yucca
Mountain converge in Cleveland, at the interchange of Conrail mainlines
Buffalo and Harrisburg. A smaller number of shipments travel the Norfolk
Southern from Cleveland to Chicago, the Norfolk Southern from West Virginia

to Kansas City via Portsmouth, and the CSXT from Pennsylvania to Chicago
Youngstown and Akron. Rail shipments along these routes, which total almost

1,000 route miles in Ohio, are presented in Table 2. Under the mostly rail
scenario, proposed action, about 2,700 rail shipments (about 25% of the
total) traverse Ohio over 24 years. Under the mostly rail scenario, modules

& 2, about 4,200 rail shipments (about 21% of the total) traverse Ohio over

39 years. Additionally, I-76, I-80, and I-90 through Ohio would be
by between 1,600 to 2,300 truck shipments of SNF from reactors in New
and New York which cannot economically ship by rail. Under either scenario,

an average of 1 shipment every two days would travel through Ohio for three

or four decades.


Distribution by
Steven Pequignot
TCU Internet News

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