STATEMENT OF SUSAN ZIMMERMAN ON BEHALF OF ROBERT R. LOUX, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE STATE OF NEVADA AGENCY FOR NUCLEAR PROJECTS, REGARDING THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY'S 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 LONE PINE, CALIFORNIA NOVEMBER 4, 1999

In order for people to participate in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, they must first be afforded the opportunity to know that a major federal action has the potential to impact them and their communities. While the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is conducting public hearings in various communities in Nevada and around the country, DOE has made no effort to inform citizens and public officials of the relevance of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to them and their states and communities.

The notices for this public hearing, for example, refer only to a draft EIS for a radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. They do NOT indicate that people in Inyo and San Bernadino counties and other parts of California stand to be significantly impacted by radioactive materials shipments as a direct result of the Yucca Mountain program.

One can only conclude that such an oversight is intentional and designed to suppress public interest in the project and participation in the public hearings.

Not only is the noticing for the public hearings deficient, but the draft EIS itself fails to identify the cross-country rail and truck routes used in DOE's transportation impact analysis, and fails to identify potential transportation routes to Yucca Mountain through California. The document further fails to provide a meaningful analysis of the potential impacts on California of rail and truck transportation to the proposed repository.

A 1996 study prepared for the State of Nevada by Planning Information Corporation (PIC) identified routes to Yucca Mountain through California, which might be used by DOE and its contractors under a consolidated southern routing strategy. Under this approach, the most likely east-west highway corridors would be I-44 from Missouri to Oklahoma, I-40 from Tennessee to California, and I-15 from California to Nevada. The most likely east-west rail corridor would be the Santa Fe-Burlington Northern line from Kansas City to San Bernardino, connecting with the Union Pacific from San Bernardino to Nevada. These routes are shown in Attachment 1.

Using the shipment numbers in the draft EIS and the routing study prepared by PIC, the State of Nevada has developed a preliminary estimate of potential legal-weight truck shipments through California to Nevada. Table 1 shows that 74,000 truck shipments, about three-quarters of the total, could traverse Southern California under DOE's mostly truck scenario. There could be an average of five truck shipments through California every day, seven days a week, for 39 years.

The DEIS evaluates a mostly truck scenario and a mostly rail scenario. Nevada believes that the final EIS must evaluate a third transportation scenario based on the current transportation capabilities of reactor and storage sites. Under the "current capabilities"scenario, there could be more than 26,000 truck shipments ( Table 2) and more than 9,800 rail shipments (Table 3) through California. Under this scenario, California would receive an average of two truck shipments per day and four to five rail shipments per week for 39 years.

This potential level of shipments through California certainly constitutes a significant impact which should have been identified and evaluated in the draft EIS.

Nevada believes that DOE has violated NEPA by concealing crucial information used in the draft EIS. Absent this information, persons affected by the transportation impacts of the proposed action have no way of determining the legal sufficiency of DOE's analysis. Moreover, DOE's attempted concealment of the shipment routes is a deviation from DOE's past practice of identifying the most likely transportation routes in NEPA documents, such as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) EIS and Supplemental EIS. This action can only diminish public confidence in DOE's ability to safely transport these highly radioactive materials.

The State of Nevada will be submitting extensive written comments on this Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. It is our hope that these comments and those of all others will be seriously considered, and that a reasonable No Action alternative (as opposed to the unreasonable and unrealistic ones contained in the draft document) is selected as the preferred action in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.

Attachment 1

Consolidated Southern Routes and Cask Shipments

Table 1

YMDEIS TRANSPORTATION IMPACTS
MAXMUM SHIPMENTS THROUGH SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
NATIONAL MOSTLY TRUCK SCENARIO, DOE MODULE 2
CONSOLIDATED SOUTHERN ROUTING
           
           
CALIFORNIA TOTAL         74050
           
CORRIDOR I-5/I-10/I-15         5258
           
Humboldt Bay(CA)     44    
Rancho Seco(CA)     124    
Diablo Canyon(CA)     1308    
San Onofre(CA)     1284    
Palo Verde(CA)     2498    
Corridor Subtotal     5258    
           
           
CORRIDOR I-40/I-15         68792
           
Browns Ferry(AL)     2067    
Farley(AL)     1126    
Arkansas(AR)     963    
Haddam Neck(CT)     255    
Millstone(CT)     1669    
Crystal River(FL)     442    
St. Lucie(FL)     1086    
Turkey Point(FL)     871    
Hatch(GA)     1334    
Vogtle(GA)     1462    
Arnold(IA)     420    
Braidwood(IL)     1494    
Byron(IL)     1444    
Clinton(IL)     690    
Dresden/Morris(IL)     1569    
La Salle(IL)     1261    
Quad Cities(IL)     1123    
Zion(IL)     1028    
Wolf Creek(KS)     708    
River Bend(LA)     823    
Waterford(LA)     675    
Pilgrim(MA)     476    
Yankee-Rowe(MA)     134    
Calvert Cliffs(MD)     1140    
Maine Yankee(ME)     356    
Big Rock Point(MI)     131    
Cook(MI)     1235    
Fermi(MI)     764    
Palisades(MI)     454    
Monticello(MN)     342    
Prairie Island(MN)     805    
Callaway(MO)     735    
Grand Gulf(MS)     1016    
Brunswick(NC)     903    
Harris(NC)     921    
McGuire(NC)     1464    
Cooper(NE)     454    
Fort Calhoun(NE)     362    
Seabrook(NH)     630    
Oyster Creek(NJ)     519    
Salem/Hope Creek(NJ)     1992    
Fitzpatrick/Nine Mile(NY)     1971    
Ginna(NY)     379    
Indian Point(NY)     1155    
Davis-Besse(OH)     535    
Perry(OH)     631    
Beaver Valley(PA)     1156    
Limerick(PA)     1722    
Peach Bottom(PA)     1408    
Susquehanna(PA)     1582    
Three Mile Island(PA)     435    
Catawba(SC)     1,330    
Oconee(SC)     1500    
Robinson(SC)     306    
Summer(SC)     538    
DOE-Savannah River(SC)     8131    
Sequoyah(TN)     1179    
Watts Bar(TN)     840    
Comanche Peak(TX)     1558    
South Texas(TX)     1448    
North Anna(VA)     1079    
Surry (VA)     902    
Vt Yankee(VT)     484    
Kewaunee(WI)     401    
LaCrosse(WI)     37    
Point Beach(WI)     742    
Corridor Subtotal     68792    

Table 2

YMDEIS TRANSPORTATION IMPACTS
TRUCK SHIPMENTS THROUGH SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
NEVADA CURRENT CAPABILITIES SCENARIO, DOE MODULE 2
CONSOLIDATED SOUTHERN ROUTING
           
           
CALIFORNIA TOTAL         26375
           
CORRIDOR I-5/I-10/I-15         1352
           
Humboldt Bay(CA)     44    
Diablo Canyon(CA)     1308    
Corridor Subtotal     1352    
           
           
CORRIDOR I-40/I-15         25023
           
Browns Ferry(AL)     2067    
Haddam Neck(CT)     255    
Crystal River(FL)     442    
St. Lucie(FL)     1086    
Turkey Point(FL)     871    
Dresden/Morris(IL)     1569    
Pilgrim(MA)     476    
Yankee-Rowe(MA)     134    
Calvert Cliffs(MD)     1140    
Big Rock Point(MI)     131    
Cook(MI)     1235    
Fermi(MI)     764    
Palisades(MI)     454    
Monticello(MN)     342    
Callaway(MO)     735    
Grand Gulf(MS)     1016    
Cooper(NE)     454    
Fort Calhoun(NE)     362    
Oyster Creek(NJ)     519    
Salem/Hope Creek(NJ)     1992    
Fitzpatrick/Nine Mile(NY)     1971    
Ginna(NY)     379    
Indian Point(NY)     1155    
Peach Bottom(PA)     1408    
Oconee(SC)     1500    
Surry (VA)     902    
Vt Yankee(VT)     484    
Kewaunee(WI)     401    
LaCrosse(WI)     37    
Point Beach(WI)     742    
Corridor Subtotal     25023    

Table 3

YMDEIS TRANSPORTATION IMPACTS
RAIL SHIPMENTS THROUGH SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
NEVADA CURRENT CAPABILITIES SCENARIO,DOE MODULE 2
CONSOLIDATED SOUTHERN ROUTING
             
             
CALIFORNIA TOTAL           9831
             
UNION PACIFIC(SP) from Rancho Seco            
             
Rancho Seco(CA)   21       21
             
BURLINGTON NORTHERN/SANTA FE from San Onofre            
             
San Onofre(CA)   207       207
             
UNION PACIFIC(SP) from Palo Verde via Yuma, AZ            
             
Palo Verde(CA)   350       350
             
             
BURLINGTON NORTHERN/SANTA FE from Kingman, AZ           9253
             
Farley(AL)     157      
Arkansas(AR)     252      
Millstone(CT)     524      
Hatch(GA)     197      
Vogtle(GA)     431      
Arnold(IA)     158      
Braidwood(IL)     215      
Byron(IL)     244      
Clinton(IL)     200      
La Salle(IL)     172      
Quad Cities(IL)     419      
Zion(IL)     250      
Wolf Creek(KS)     106      
River Bend(LA)     101      
Waterford(LA)     91      
Maine Yankee(ME)     60      
Prairie Island(MN)     221      
Brunswick(NC)     321      
Harris(NC)     258      
McGuire(NC)     427      
Seabrook(NH)     83      
Davis-Besse(OH)     71      
Perry(OH)     82      
Beaver Valley(PA)     160      
Limerick(PA)     497      
Susquehanna(PA)     219      
Three Mile Island(PA)     113      
Catawba(SC)     253      
Robinson(SC)     97      
Summer(SC)     82      
DOE-Savannah River(SC)     1739      
Sequoyah(TN)     161      
Watts Bar(TN)     121      
Comanche Peak(TX)     246      
South Texas(TX)     358      
North Anna(VA)     167      
Corridor Subtotal     9253