Nuclear transportation safety: the debate continues.
The safety of nuclear waste transportation is under debate again in 1997 as Congress considers legislation to put a temporary storage facility for spent nuclear fuel Spent nuclear fuel, occasionally called used nuclear fuel, is nuclear fuel that has been irradiated in a nuclear reactor (usually at a nuclear power plant) to the point where it is no longer useful in sustaining a nuclear reaction. in Nevada.
Concern about transportation safety and political opposition from Nevada, environmental groups and President Clinton derailed similar legislation last year.
The interim facility is backed by nuclear utilities that are running out of storage space for spent fuel and expect the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to take ownership of their spent fuel starting next January, as required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. On Jan. 30, 1997, a lawsuit was filed by several state attorneys general, public utility commissions and electric utility companies that seek to force DOE to say how it will handle the waste. And, in a related development, 11 utilities are working with the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians to build a spent fuel storage facility on tribal land in Utah.
When significant amounts of spent fuel will hit the road is anyone's guess. Reaction is mixed: The prospect of numerous shipments is alarming to some, but no cause for concern to others. Historically, there have been some 2,500 shipments, with no death or injury due to the radioactive nature of the cargo.
Despite this excellent safety record, nuclear shipments are generally feared by the public. And state lawmakers find themselves caught in the political crossfire A multi-GPU interface from ATI for connecting two ATI display adapters together for faster graphics rendering on one monitor. CrossFire machines require PCI Express slots, a CrossFire-enabled motherboard and, depending on which models are used, either a pair of ATI Radeon adapters or one of these varied perspectives.
The safety of spent fuel transportation is primarily a federal responsibility, but Congress has recognized a state role as well. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), an independent U.S. government commission, created by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 and charged with licensing and regulating civilian use of nuclear energy to protect the public and the environment. are responsible for packaging regulations, certifications of container safety, regulations governing sabotage sabotage [Fr., sabot=wooden shoe; hence, to work clumsily], form of direct action by workers against employers through obstruction of work and/or lowering of plant efficiency. Methods range from peaceful slowing of production to destruction of property. , escorts, routing and employee training.
To address perceived gaps in federal law, states have enacted several regulatory mechanisms including permits, routing, liability rules, inspections, notification and emergency training, to ensure safe transport of spent fuel and other hazardous material.
Eighteen states require truckers to get permits before hauling spent fuel. Permits usually involve an evaluation of a trucking company's operations and its past compliance with safety requirements. Permits and registration fees go to support emergency response planning and preparedness pre·par·ed·ness
The state of being prepared, especially military readiness for combat.
Noun 1. preparedness - the state of having been made ready or prepared for use or action (especially military action); "putting them .
Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio Nevada (pronounced nah-VAY-da) is a village in Wyandot County, Ohio, United States. The population was 814 at the 2000 census.
Nevada was the home of Dr. Charles E. Sawyer, a homeopathic physician who is blamed for giving a false diagnosis of U.S. President Warren G. and West Virginia West Virginia, E central state of the United States. It is bordered by Pennsylvania and Maryland (N), Virginia (E and S), and Kentucky and, across the Ohio R., Ohio (W). Facts and Figures
Area, 24,181 sq mi (62,629 sq km). Pop. have adopted a system that allows a trucking firm to get a hazardous material transportation permit from its home state that is honored in the other participating states.
At least five additional states are considering joining this group of states called the Alliance for Uniform HazMat Transportation Procedures. The Federal Highway Administration The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a division of the United States Department of Transportation that specializes in highway transportation. The agency's major activities are grouped into two "programs," The Federal-aid Highway Program and the Federal Lands Highway is evaluating whether the proposed alliance program should become a federal rule.
All states are part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, an organization of truck inspectors that has developed a stringent safety procedure for trucks carrying nuclear cargo. In addition, 10 states designate specific routes for nuclear shipments using federal guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks. that, in theory, identify the safest highways.
Generally, states that have nuclear power plants or a federal nuclear facility have developed the capacity to handle radiological radiological
pertaining to radiology.
see radiological diagnosis.
mobile radiological apparatus
x-ray machines that can be moved but are not portable because of their weight. emergencies, often in partnership with DOE or the nuclear plant operator. A number of transportation corridor states, however, are not as well prepared and are seeking funding to upgrade their response capabilities in case of transportation accidents. DOE will provide some money to states where spent fuel travels.
DOE's recent decision to privatize pri·va·tize
tr.v. pri·va·tized, pri·va·tiz·ing, pri·va·tiz·es
To change (an industry or business, for example) from governmental or public ownership or control to private enterprise: "The strike ... transportation of prospective spent fuel shipments also is being met with mixed reactions. At a recent meeting of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, Brad Mettam of Inyo County, Calif., objected to placing spent fuel transportation policy decisions in the hands of private contractors, whose goals of cutting costs and minimizing regulatory compliance conflict with county and state objectives for public input, involvement in routing decisions and optimal safety. Comments on the privatized approach ended March 31.