The Honorable Harry Reid
United States Senate
U.S. Capitol - S 208
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Reid:
Enclosed is a report entitled, "Radiological Consequences of Severe Rail Accidents Involving Spent Nuclear Fuel Shipments to Yucca Mountain: Hypothetical Baltimore Rail Tunnel Fire Involving Spent Nuclear Fuel."
The report, which was prepared by Radioactive Waste Management Associates, Inc., under contract to the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects, examines the circumstances surrounding the July 18, 2001 rail accident that occurred in Baltimore's Howard Street tunnel, igniting a fire that burned for five days. The report assesses the consequences of this accident had the train been carrying a shipment of spent nuclear fuel. The report utilizes actual data on the accident itself, the temperature and duration of the ensuing fire, meteorological conditions at the time of the accident, and population and land use patterns in the area.
As evidenced by the report, the consequences of such an accident involving spent nuclear fuel would be devastating. Due to the duration of the fire and the extremely high temperatures, the accident would have resulted in a significant release of radiation from the transportation container.
Please feel free to use the report as you see fit.
KENNY C. GUINN