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

18.   Regional Routing Alternatives

The maps presented in Section 16 can be viewed from many different national, regional, or local perspectives. National perspectives may involve the overall safety or cost efficiency of the national shipment campaign, while regional perspectives may seek to limit impacts on certain centers of population and commerce, and local perspectives may focus on certain facilities (e.g., a hospital or elementary school) or route conditions (e.g., a hazardous interchange) or special events (e.g., the upcoming winter Olympics in Salt Lake City). Under HM164, for example, states may choose to designate alternative routes for shipment of "highway route controlled quantities" of hazardous materials, including SNF and HLW. In a national shipment campaign, such designations have system effects which require coordination with "upstream" and "downstream" states. Rail routes are generally determined by rail carriers, in negotiation with utility shippers and DOE. But the choice to heavy-haul to one railhead rather than another at the origin site, or changes in railroad ownership, can substantially alter a 2,000 mile cross- country route.

The use of Interstate 43, which extends south from Green Bay through Milwaukee and southwest to Beloit, WI provides an example of possible regional perspectives on the routing of SNF shipments. In the current capabilities scenario, I-43 is used to move wastes away from the Kewaunee and Point Beach sites in Wisconsin. In northern Illinois, where the Byron and Zion plants are located, I-43 connects to I-80 via I-39 in Rockford and I-88 in Moline, However, since Byron and Zion ship by rail in the current capabilities scenario, the connecting segments in Illinois are used only by shipments originating in Wisconsin. These circumstances, which are just one example of hundreds involved in a national shipment campaign, could affect the perspective of various state agencies and local communities in Wisconsin and Illinois.

Consolidated Southern Routing

A major alternative to the default routing criteria reflected in the results presented in Sections 16 and 17, is a "consolidated southern" option which would concentrate cross-country rail shipments on the Santa Fe rail line rather than the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific, and concentrate cross-country highway shipments on I-40 rather than I-80 or I-70. To illustrate the effects of regional routing alternatives, we have compared cask shipment estimates under default and consolidated southern routing options for five rail and five highway route segments in four states—Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada (see Figures 18-1 through 18-3):

  • The Wyoming route segments are along the Union Pacific line near Rawlins in south-central Wyoming, and along a nearby segment of I-80.

  • The Colorado segments are along the Southern Pacific rail line near Glenwood Springs in western Colorado, and along a nearby segment of I-70.

  • The New Mexico segments are along the Santa Fe rail line near Grants in northwestern New Mexico, and along a nearby segment of I-40.

  • One pair of Nevada segments are the Union Pacific line and a segment of I-15 near the Las Vegas Strip. A second pair of Nevada segments are the Union Pacific rail line near the Utah-Nevada border, and a segment of I-15 as it crosses the Moapa Indian Reservation northeast of Las Vegas.

    Under all three scenarios of transportation choices (as indicated in Table 18-1), consolidated southern routing would eliminate rail and highway shipments through Wyoming and Colorado, and substantially reduce rail and highway shipments from Utah into Nevada. At the same time, however, consolidated southern routing would substantially increase rail and highway shipments through New Mexico, through California east of Barstow and into Nevada along the Las Vegas Strip. Though not presented in Table 17-1, consolidated southern routing has effects further east in the national routing system for SNF and HLW—e.g., in Chicago, Kansas City, and St. Louis. Other routing options would also have systems effects, increasing rail or highway shipments through certain communities, and reducing shipments through others.

    Table 18-1. Life of Operations Rail and Highway Cask Shipments
    Default and Consolidated Southern Routing
    5 Rail and 5 Highway Cask Segments

      CURRENT CAPABILITIES MPC BASE CASE   MAXIMUM RAIL
      -------- --------- -------- -------- --------- -------- -------- --------- --------
      Default Consol   Default Consol   Default Consol  
      Routing So. Rtg Change Routing So. Rtg Change Routing So. Rtg Change
    Rail Segments: ------- ------- ------- ------- ------- ------- ------- ------- -------
    Wyo: UP 8286 0 -8286 9315 0 -9315 11114 0 -11114
    Col: SP 362 0 -362 79 0 -79 214 0 -214
    NV: UP @ UT line 11485 4077 -7408 12399 3566 -8833 15405 5105 -10300
                       
    NM: SF 770 9418 8648 808 10202 9394 631 11959 11328
    NV: UP @ LV Strip 1151 8559 7408 1517 10360 8843 1387 11687 10300
                 
    Hwy Segments: ------- ------- ------- ------- ------- ------- ------- ------- -------
    Wyo: I-80 31109 54 -31055 14319 10 -14309 1083 10 -1073
    Col: I-70 39496 0 -39496 9877 0 -9877 0 0 0
    NV: I-15 @ Moapa 72768 1348 -71420 6277 82 -6195 1150 82 -1068
                       
    NM: I-40 3630 74181 70551 0 24186 24186 0 1073 1073
    NV: I-15 @ Strip 6577 77997 71420 45 6240 6195 0 1068 1068
      ========= ========= ========= ========= ========= ========= ========= ========= =========



    Index of Figures for Section 18


    Figure 18-1a. Life of Operations Rail and Highway Cask Shipments
    Current Capabilities Transportation Choices/Default Routing


    Default Rail Routes and Cask Shipments

     

    Default Highway Routes and Cask Shipments



    Figure 18-1b. Life of Operations Rail and Highway Cask Shipments
    Current Capabilities Transportation Choices/Consolidated Southern Routing


    Consolidated Southern Rail Routes and Cask Shipments

     

    Consolidated Southern Highway Routes and Cask Shipments



    Figure 18-1a (NV). Life of Operations Rail and Highway Cask Shipments in (NV)
    Current Capabilities Transportation Choices/Default Routing


    Rail

     

    Highway



    Figure 18-1b (NV). Life of Operations Rail and Highway Cask Shipments in (NV)
    Current Capabilities Transportation Choices/Consolidated Southern Routing


    Rail

     

    Highway



    Figure 18-2a. Life of Operations Rail and Highway Cask Shipments
    MPC Base Case Transportation Choices/Default Routing


    Default Rail Routes and Cask Shipments

     

    Default Highway Routes and Cask Shipments



    Figure 18-2b. Life of Operations Rail and Highway Cask Shipments
    MPC Base Case Transportation Choices/Consolidated Southern Routing


    Consolidated Southern Rail Routes and Cask Shipments

     

    Consolidated Southern Highway Routes and Cask Shipments



    Figure 18-3a. Life of Operations Rail and Highway Cask Shipments
    Maximum Rail Transportation Choices/Default Routing


    Default Rail Routes and Cask Shipments

     

    Default Highway Routes and Cask Shipments



    Figure 18-3b. Life of Operations Rail and Highway Cask Shipments
    Maximum Rail Transportation Choices/Consolidated Southern Routing


    Consolidated Southern Rail Routes and Cask Shipments

     

    Consolidated Southern Highway Routes and Cask Shipments



    Figure 18-3a (NV). Life of Operations Rail and Highway Cask Shipments in (NV)
    Maximum Rail Transportation Choices/Default Routing


    Rail

     

    Default Highway Routes and Cask Shipments



    Figure 18-3b (NV). Life of Operations Rail and Highway Cask Shipments in (NV)
    Maximum Rail Transportation Choices/Consolidated Southern Routing


    Rail

     

    Highway


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