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.



U.S. House votes 340 to 72 to "Screw Nevada," again -- and perhaps New Mexico and Texas, too, while they're at it! (As well as countless transport corridor communities en route!)

One of the six toes, on one of the feet, of the Yucca Dump Mutant Zombie (see image, left), twitched yesterday. By a lopsided vote of 340 to 72, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of "Screw Nevada 2.0," a reprise of the 1987 "Screw Nevada" bill, that singled out Yucca Mountain for the country's highly radioactive waste dump-site in the first place. This was the biggest vote on nuclear waste in the U.S. House in 16 years, and seeks to overturn the Obama administration's wise 2010 cancellation of the unsuitable Yucca Mountain Project. In addition to approving H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018, the House, "in its wisdom" (or lack thereof!), similarly voted down an amendment offered by Dina Titus (Democrat-NV), that would have required consent-based siting for a dump like Yucca, per the 2012 recommendations by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future.

Thank you to everyone who contacted their U.S. Rep. urging opposition to H.R. 3053. Please check this link for more info., including to see how your U.S. Rep. voted on the Titus amendment, and the overall bill. Then please thank or "spank" (express your disappointment to) your U.S. Rep., accordingly, and point out the high-risk "Mobile Chernobyl" impacts of shipping 110,000 metric tons (an increase from the current legal limit of 70,000) of highly radioactive waste, by truck, train, and/or barge, through 44 states, dozens of major cities, and 330 of 435 U.S. congressional districts, if H.R. 3053 becomes law.

In addition to expediting the opening of the Yucca dump, by gutting due process and environmental and safety regulations, H.R. 3053 would authorize centralized interim storage facilities (CISFs, or de facto permanent, surface storage, "parking lot dumps"), as targeted at Holtec/ELEA, NM and WCS, TX. Re: Holtec/ELEA, please continue submitting environmental scoping public comments to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the May 29th deadline -- see how, and for more info., at this link.

And please also contact both your U.S. Senators, urging them to oppose bad, dangerous nuke waste dumps targeted at NM, NV, and/or TX, and the inevitable Mobile Chernobyls they would launch: call your U.S. Senators via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and fill out and submit Food & Water Watch's webform!

To learn more about the Yucca dump scheme, CISF proposals, and nuclear waste transport risks, please see the corresponding Beyond Nuclear website sub-sections.


Beyond Nuclear testifies before Congress on highly radioactive waste transport risks (Oct. 1, 2015)

Detailed maps showing DOE's proposed Yucca dump bound high-level radioactive waste rail shipping routes in downtown Chicago.

Repost from Oct. 1, 2015:

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.


How would "temporary" surface storage "parking lot dumps" impact your state, congressional district, and major cities near you, in terms of Mobile Chernobyl risks?

While the reports and routing maps above pertain to the permanent burial dump targeted at Yucca Mountain, NV, many similar or even exact same routes (road and rail) would be used to ship high-risk, highly radioactive, irradiated nuclear fuel, to so-called centralized interim storage facilities (CISFs) in Texas (Waste Control Specialists) and/or New Mexico (Holtec International/Eddy-Lea [Counties] Energy Alliance).

Barge shipments on numerous surface waters across the U.S. (the Great Lakes, rivers, sea coasts) could also begin, if either CISF opens.

While the Yucca dump is limited by law to 70,000 metric tons of highly radioactive wastes, Holtec/ELEA have proposed up to 120,000 metric tons of storage at its facility in s.e. NM; WCS has proposed another 40,000 metric tons in TX. Holtec/ELEA and WCS are only 38 miles apart. As you can see, up to 160,000 metric tons of highly radioactive waste would represent significantly more shipments, and thus risk, than even what is targeted to go to Yucca!


If Florida can get exempted from Trump's offshore oil drilling, can it also get exempted from high-level radioactive waste barge shipments?!

As reported by the Washington Post's David Weigel and John Wagner, the "Decision to Exempt Florida from Offshore Drilling Prompts Bipartisan Uproar" in other Atlantic and Pacific coastal states not so generously exempted.

Does this mean that Florida could also be exempted from the proposed barging of irradiated nuclear fuel on its Atlantic coast?! See: FL - Florida’s Atlantic Coastline PDF 53.22KB

In the aftermath of the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill catastrophe in 2010, the question was begged about similar risks regarding a false alternative to fossil fuel burning -- nuclear reactors, and highly radioactive waste shipments by barge.

(How about giving renewables and efficiency a try?!)

There are highly radioactive waste barge shipments proposed elsewhere on the coastlines of the Pacific (CA) and Atlantic

And what about irradiated nuclear fuel barge shipment risks on these surface waters that flow into the already damaged Gulf of Mexico itself?!

And what about highly radioactive waste barge shipment risks on the headwaters of the Great Lakes, source of drinking water (and so much more!) for 40 million people in eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a very large number of Native American First Nations?!


Nuclear waste stranded at Indian Point as feds search for permanent solution

As reported by Lower Hudson Journal. The article discusses potential high-risk barge shipments of irradiated nuclear fuel, down the Hudson River, past Manhattan.