The Transportation of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste

A Systematic Basis for Planning and Management at the National, Regional, and Community Levels

Prepared By
Planning Information Corporation
Denver, Colorado
September, 1996

15.   Six Routing Examples

This section describes possible routes to Yucca Mountain from six shipment origin sites. The level of description may be termed "regional" rather than "national" or "local." Key routes, rail carriers, and urban centers are identified, but local features are not. The sites selected are among those which are assumed to make different transportation choices under the current capabilities and maximum rail scenarios, and/or different near-site options for accessing a railhead under the MPC base case and maximum rail scenarios. The description focuses on the possible route, not on the cask options, the transportation choice or the routing criteria. The question of the number and type of prospective shipments along particular route segments is addressed in sections 17 and 18.

Oyster Creek (NJ) to Yucca Mountain (NV)

How might shipments from the Oyster Creek (NJ) nuclear plant, located in Ocean County near Barnegat Bay about 55 miles due east of Philadelphia, travel to Yucca Mountain? Under the "current capabilities" scenario, the transportation choice of GPU Nuclear for shipments from Oyster Creek is legal- weight truck—using the high-capacity GA-9 cask if available, or a transportation cask for two BWR assemblies otherwise:

The "consolidated southern" option for truck shipments from Oyster Creek would depart from the default route east of St. Louis, continuing on I-70/255 (rather than the I-270 bypass) through East St. Louis, then via I-44 through Tulsa, Oklahoma. From there, the route would follow I-35 to Oklahoma City, I-40 to Barstow, California and I-15 to Las Vegas, US 95 and Yucca Mountain.

Under the "MPC base case" and "maximum rail" scenarios, GPU Nuclear's transportation choice for shipments from Oyster Creek is a large rail cask similar to DOE's 125-ton MPC, containing up to 40 BWR assemblies. However, while the MPC base case assumes heavy-haul transport to the Conrail railhead at Toms River (NJ), the maximum rail scenario would involve barge shipment to Conrail facilities in New York City.19

Figure 15-1. Alternative Nuclear Waste Transportation Routes: Oyster Creek NP

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Fermi (MI) to Yucca Mountain (NV)

How might shipments from the Fermi (MI) nuclear plant, located at the western end of Lake Erie, between Toledo and Detroit, travel to Yucca Mountain? Under the "current capabilities" scenario, the transportation choice of Detroit Edison for shipments from Fermi is legal-weight truck—using the high- capacity GA-9 cask if available, or a transportation cask for two BWR assemblies otherwise:

Under the "MPC base case" and "maximum rail" scenarios, the transportation choice of Detroit Edison for shipments from Fermi is a large rail cask similar to DOE's 125-ton MPC, containing up to 40 BWR assemblies. However, while the MPC base case assumes use of a substantially upgraded on-site rail spur, the maximum rail scenario would involve barge shipment from the western end of Lake Erie to Conrail facilities in Buffalo (NY) at the eastern end.19

Figure 15-2. Alternative Nuclear Waste Transportation Routes: Fermi NP

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Browns Ferry (AL) to Yucca Mountain (NV)

How might shipments from the Browns Ferry plants, located across the Tennessee River from the City of Decatur, travel to Yucca Mountain? Under the ‘current capabilities" scenario, the transportation choice of the Tennessee Valley Authority for shipments from Browns Ferry is legal-weight truck—using the high-capacity GA-9 cask if available, or a transportation cask for two BWR assemblies otherwise:

Under the "MPC base case" and "maximum rail" scenarios, the transportation choice of Tennessee Valley Authority for rail shipments from Browns Ferry is a large rail cask similar to DOE's 125-ton MPC, containing up to 40 BWR assemblies. However, while the MPC base case involves heavy-haul transport across the Tennessee River to a Norfolk Southern railhead in Decatur, the maximum rail scenario involves barge shipment down the Tennessee River to Paducah, Kentucky and down the Ohio river to the Illinois Central railhead at Cairo, Illinois:19

Figure 15-3. Alternative Nuclear Waste Transportation Routes: Browns Ferry NP

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Cooper Station (NE) to Yucca Mountain (NV)

How might shipments from the Cooper Station site, on the Missouri River about 65 miles south of Omaha, travel to Yucca Mountain? Under "current capabilities" scenario, the transportation choice of Nebraska Public Power for shipments from Cooper Station is legal-weight truck—using the high-capacity GA-9 cask if available, or a transportation cask for two BWR assemblies otherwise:

Under the "MPC base case" and "maximum rail" scenarios, Nebraska Public Power's transportation choice for shipments from Cooper Station is a small rail cask similar to DOE's 75-ton MPC, containing up to 24 BWR assemblies. However, while the "MPC base case" assumes heavy-haul transport north to a Burlington Northern railhead in Nebraska City (about 50 miles east of Lincoln), or across the Missouri River and south to a Burlington Northern railhead at Phelps City (MO), the maximum rail scenario assumes barge shipment down the Missouri River to a UP railhead in Boonville, about 120 miles east of Kansas City and about 20 miles west of Columbia (MO):19

Figure 15-4. Alternative Nuclear Waste Transportation Routes: Cooper Station NP

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Grand Gulf (MS) to Yucca Mountain (NV)

How might shipments from the Grand Gulf (MS) nuclear plant, located on the Mississippi River about 30 miles south of Vicksburg, travel to Yucca Mountain? Under the "current capabilities scenario, the transportation choice of Systems Energy Resources for shipments from Grand Gulf is legal-weight truck—using the high-capacity GA-9 cask if available, or a transportation cask for two BWR assemblies otherwise:

Under the MPC base case and maximum rail scenarios, the transportation choice of Systems Energy Resources for shipments from Grand Gulf is a large rail cask similar to DOE's 125-ton MPC, containing up to 40 BWR assemblies:

Figure 15-5. Alternative Nuclear Waste Transportation Routes: Grand Gulf NP

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Diablo Canyon (CA) to Yucca Mountain (NV)

How might shipments from the Diablo Canyon (CA) nuclear plant, located on the Pacific Ocean near San Luis Obispo, about 85 miles northwest of Santa Barbara, travel to Yucca Mountain? Under the "current capabilities" scenario, the transportation choice of Pacific Gas and Electric for shipments from Diablo Canyon is legal-weight truck—using the high-capacity GA-4 cask if available, or a transportation cask for a single PWR assembly otherwise:

Under the MPC base case and maximum rail scenarios, Pacific Gas and Electric's transportation choice for shipments from Diablo Canyon is a large rail cask similar to DOE's 125-ton MPC, containing up to 21 PWR assemblies. However, while the MPC base case assumes heavy-haul transport to the Southern Pacific railhead in San Luis Obispo, the maximum rail scenario involves a 150-mile barge shipment south to Point Conception and east through the Santa Barbara Channel to the railhead of the Ventura County Railway Company at Port Hueneme near Oxnard:19

Figure 15-6. Alternative Nuclear Waste Transportation Routes: Diablo Canyon NP

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