Waste Transportation

The transportation of radioactive waste already occurs, but will become frequent on our rails, roads and waterways, should irradiated reactor fuel be moved to interim or permanent dump sites.



Beyond Nuclear joins in launch of "Stop Fukushima Freeways!" campaign

Map of road and rail routes targeted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for shipping high-level radioactive waste to Yucca Mountain, Nevada for disposal. The map, prepared by Dr. Fred Dilger, is based on 2008 DOE Yucca Mountain Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement route maps.Beyond Nuclear joined with Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) and grassroots allies across the country to launch the "Stop Fukushima Freeways!" campaign, to prevent risky shipments of high-level radioactive waste to Yucca Mountain, Nevada or parking lot dumps (centralized or consolidated interim storage).

The launch included the release of detailed maps, prepared by State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects consultant, Dr. Fred Dilger. The maps show not only the routes that high-level radioactive waste truck and train casks would travel through 46 states and the District of Columbia, but also how many casks would be shipped, and how concentrated the populations are along those routes. A national map, as well as state by state maps (listed in alphabetical order), have been published.

Beyond Nuclear sent out a national press release, and also joined in on a grassroots press release in Michigan, where it is actively watchdogging such atomic reactors as Palisades and Fermi Unit 2.

As he did on national tele-briefing a couple weeks ago, that helped launch the campaign, Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, continues to highlight the risks of lesser known barge shipments of high-level radioactive waste on surface waters, and the "Floating Fukushima" risks they represent:

Surface waters documented by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as potential shipping routes for barges of high-level radioactive waste include: Chesapeake Bay; James River of Virginia; Delaware Bay; New Jersey’s Atlantic coast; Hudson River of New York; Long Island Sound; Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts Bay, and Boston Harbor; Lake Michigan; Mississippi River; Tennessee River; Missouri River; California’s Pacific Coast; and Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

NIRS has posted these barge route maps (see them listed under the date Sept. 28, 2004).

NIRS has posted a "Stop Fukushima Freeways!" campaign page, with links to numerous supporting materials and resources.

The State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects has posted Dr. Dilger's maps and other documents, as well as those of Agency Director Robert Halstead and others, at its nuclear waste transportation website section.


Unprecedented liquid high-level radioactive waste shipments delayed by congressional demand for security assessment

The Peace Bridge at Buffalo, NY, the route by which unprecented shipments of liquid high-level radioactive waste are most likely expected to rollAs reported by WKBW/ABC-Buffalo, NY, unprecedented shipments, by truck, of liquid high-level radioactive waste, from Chalk River, Ontario, Canada to Savannah River Site (SRS), South Carolina, U.S.A., could be postponed.

The U.S. Department of Energy wants to import the liquid high-level radioactive wastes, for the revenue it would be paid by Canadian nuclear agencies. DOE also hopes to keep its reprocessing capabilities on life-support at SRS. For these reasons, it has sought radioactive wastes not only from Canada, but also from other countries (such as Germany), to import.

The delay is due to:

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved a bill that would require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to provide a complete threat assessment the transportation of chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological materials through U.S. land borders and within the United States.

The bill was sponsored by U.S. Representative Brian Higgins (D-NY). Companion legislation is expected to clear the U.S. Senate, and the companion bills to be enacted into law with President Obama's signature.

The article quotes Congressman Higgins:

"Terrorists and militant groups have expressed an interest in using highly dangerous weapons, especially those utilizing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, known as CBRN agents or materials,” said Higgins. “This bill gives federal agencies the information they need to make decisions and develop policies that are informed by the terrorism threat picture.”


Beyond Nuclear to present, please call-in to NIRS-sponsored Oct. 15th "Stop Fukushima Freeways" tele-conference briefing

The Mobile Chernobyl mock nuke waste cask, a full size replica of a truck shipping container, shown in front of the State Capitol in Jefferson City, MO during a cross-country educational tourOn Oct. 7th, NIRS announced:

STOP FUKUSHIMA FREEWAYS: Keep Nuclear Waste Off Our Roads, Rails, and Urban Centers!

Telebriefing: Thursday, October 15th, 2015, 8 pm Eastern

Join the coordinated campaign media launch

Dear Friends,

Congress will order the transport of highly radioactive waste through our major cities, communities, farms and forests, and even our waterways, unless we say STOP!

If highly radioactive “spent” nuclear fuel went to a central site, how would it get there? This month our network of activists and allied organizations will show that picture.

Transporting the highly radioactive waste that has piled up at the nation’s nuclear power reactors is a far greater hazard than Congress or the federal government has admitted. These bodies also play down the risk that anything bad will happen. It is only rational to prevent extra and unnecessary shipments.

NIRS will host a telebriefing next Thursday, October 15, 2015, to share more information on transport.
Register for this telebriefing by clicking here.

And join the Stop Fukushima Freeways campaign this month by helping NIRS and grassroots groups across the country raise awareness of the issue with a nationally-coordinated release of new maps of the projected routes that this lethal radioactive waste would travel. Many groups acting together as one community on the same day underscores that we are working together to stop bad ideas. NIRS will help you do it, but we ask that each group/activist step up and contact the media in your region in your own name. To join this campaign now,
sign up by clicking here.

Congress wants to revive the failed Yucca Mountain repository site, and is also considering creating a new option for the creation of consolidated storage sites that would be identical to the storage already at reactors. We call on you to stand together and reject these bad ideas. We can’t allow any more lost time, money and other resources on the failed Yucca plan, or there will be no resources for a better plan. The first step remains an end to making more of this waste.

Fukushima stands as proof that this same waste can be catastrophic when stationary in pool storage. Dry storage is a step forward in reducing radioactive risks; many environmental and safe energy groups have endorsed the concept of hardened on site dry storage (HOSS).

The risks go way up, however, when these containers containing waste that will give a lethal dose of radiation in seconds if unshielded are put on a truck or a rail car. Learn more—see the links below, and register for NIRS' telebriefing: STOP FUKUSHIMA FREEWAYS.

You will receive call-in information after you register. There is also a web-phone option.

STOP FUKUSHIMA FREEWAYS   NIRS Tele-Briefing Thursday, October 15, 2015, 8 pm (eastern) to 9:30 pm (eastern)


Diane D’Arrigo, Radioactive Waste Project Director, Nuclear Information & Resource Service (
Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Watch Dog, Beyond Nuclear (
David Kraft, Executive Director, Nuclear Energy Information Service (
Judy Treichel, Executive Director, Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force

The telebriefing will be recorded and posted online.
If you register, we will send you that link in the days after the event.

Hot Cargo Factsheet
Talking Points on Yucca
Science vs Fiction at Yucca Mountain

Bills in Congress that, if passed, would trigger transport of highly radioactive waste:
HOUSE: H.R.3643 -- Interim Consolidated Storage Act of 2015
SENATE: Nuclear Waste Administration Act SB 854
Click here for a webcast of an October 1 hearing in the US House Commerce Committee: Transporting Nuclear Materials: Design, Logistics, and Shipment. Written testimony is posted here.

Thank you for your activism!


Beyond Nuclear testifies before Congress against Mobile Chernobyl, Yucca, and parking lot dumps

Detailed maps showing DOE's proposed Yucca dump bound high-level radioactive waste rail shipping routes in downtown Chicago.Beyond Nuclear's radioactive waste watchdog, Kevin Kamps, was invited as a witness at a hearing on "Transporting Nuclear Materials," held by the U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee, Environment and the Economy Subcommittee on Oct. 1st. See the hearing description, with links to the witnesses' written testimony, as well as a video recording of the hearing, here.

On the video recording, Kevin's opening remarks begin at the 1:09:50 mark, and end at 1:15:26. A question and answer exchange between Ranking Democrat, Paul Tonko of NY, and Kevin begins at 1:25:05, and ends at 1:27:42 (Kevin discusses the Baltimore train tunnel fire of July, 2001, and the reportedly large number of latent cancer fatalities and astronomical clean up costs that would have resulted, had high-level radioactive waste been on board).

(Note that the hearing began more than 30 minutes late, so the beginning of the video recording is blank. Also, the quality of the video recording is poor, with many skips.)

Read Kevin's introductory remarks, as well as his full written testimony. Working with David Kraft, executive director of Nuclear Energy Information Service of Chicago, Kevin also prepared this backgrounder, to set the record straight on high-level radioactive waste shipments targeted at downtown Chicago, under the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain dump transportation plan. Robert Halstead, now director of the State Agency for Nuclear Projects in the Nevada governor's office, also prepared detailed maps showing Chicago area Yucca dump shipping routes. (see map, above left)

Claims by a number of hearing witnesses that high-level radioactive waste shipping accidents in the past had never experienced radioactive releases or leaks has also been debunked by a 1996 Halstead report, citing federal government documents. Beyond Nuclear has also prepared a backgrounder rebutting this inaccurate testimony.

Learn more about the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's attempt to revive the cancelled Yucca dump, by visiting Beyond Nuclear's Yucca Mountain website section. There, you'll learn how you can submit public comments on NRC's Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on the dangerous Yucca dump proposal.


Art and wilderness "final nail in the coffin" of beleaguered Yucca dump and Mobile Chernobyl rail route

This undated photo provided by Triple Aught Foundation shows part of an artwork by Michael Heizer called “City” near Garden Valley, Nev. Mammoth bones, the prehistoric rock carvings and more than a million acres of wilderness will be protected as part of three new national monuments that President Barack Obama is creating in California, Nevada and Texas and announced Friday, July 10, 2015. Tom Vinetz/Triple Aught Foundation / APAs reported by Cy Ryan in a Las Vegas Sun article entitled "Why new national monument could derails plans for nuke dump at Yucca," President Obama's declaration of a Basin and Range National Monument in the rural heart of Nevada could be the final nail in the coffin of the proposed high-level radioactive waste dump at Yucca Mountain.

So says Robert Halstead, the director of the State of Nevada's Agency for Nuclear Projects, who has led opposition to the U.S. Department of Energy's 300-mile-long, $3 billion rail line proposal that would be needed to transport irradiated nuclear fuel to the controversial dump-site.

The rail route would now have to pass through a national monument, threatening its wilderness and wildlife, and disrupting perhaps the largest landscape art project in North America. "City," created by Michael Heizer over the past half-century, is as large in size as the National Mall in Washington, D.C. More.