Risks of Radioactive Waste Transport

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Ooops! – A Dry Run for Disaster?

This 20-axle truck pulled by a huge trailer tipped over on a soft shoulder. It was only hauling one empty nuclear waste transport cask. But what if the cask had not been empty. And what if it were carrying a full load of many full casks as the industry is planning for with Consolidated Interim Storage (CIS)?

Truck carrying empty nuclear waste casks overturns

If this cask had contained 37 high burn-up nuclear fuel assemblies, they wouldn’t be working on it in their T-shirts!

Truck hauling new, empty nuclear storage cask crashes in Andover Recovery closes Route 11 on Friday and Saturday

A truck carrying a new, empty storage cask for nuclear fuel rods bound for Vermont Yankee in Vernon crashed just before 10 a.m. on Friday in Andover, leading to a two-day recovery effort.

According to Vermont State Police, the east-bound truck rolled over on Route 11 near Middletown Road, closing the road for several hours on Friday and Saturday, with workers returning to finish the recovery on Saturday. The driver was not injured in the crash and there were no fluid leaks, State Police said. Read more…

ANDOVER — An oversized flatbed truck carrying an empty nuclear waste cask headed to the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant drove onto a soft shoulder on Route 11 in Andover and tipped over Friday morning, setting off a 36-hour effort to retrieve the cask and reopen the busy east-west highway.

The cask is slated to be used at the Vernon nuclear power plant which is undergoing demolition and decommissioning. The cask, which weighs upwards of 50 tons, is used as an on-site cask to transfer waste on site… Read more…


This type of rail accident, together with the truck overturning in Vermont, is why transporting thousands of shipments of radioactive waste from San Onofre across the country to Texas and New Mexico risks millions of people and our environment.

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Operations Center
Event Reports For 6/11/2020 – 6/12/2020
“The following was received from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA; the Agency) via email:
“At approximately 0700 [CDT] on 6/4/2020, the Agency was contacted by the Texas Radiation Control Program to advise that a rail car containing radioactive material had caught fire at the Belt Railway Co. of Chicago (BRC) located 6900 Central Ave., Bedford Park, IL. The Texas program had been contacted by the railway. IEMA staff contacted BRC and was informed that a lidded gondola (car WP-9241) transporting a load of UN2912 LSA-1 was found to be smoldering at approximately 0100 on 6/4/2020. The shipping manifest listed contents as ‘solid oxides’ with 4.13 mCi of Co-60, Cs-134, Cs-137, U-234, U-235 and U-238. BRC staff agitated the railcar and continued to observe until approximately 0300. At that time, flames had engulfed approximately 10 percent of the car and the Bedford Park Fire/Hazmat team arrived on scene.”  Read more

The Problem with Transporting Radioactive Waste

Nuclear Energy Information Service NEIS

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