For spent fuel being returned from Pacific Rim countries, DOE proposes to use the port of Concord, CA and ship the fuel by train through Sacramento and along the UP line to Salt Lake City and north to Idaho Falls (see attached map).
DOE projects a total of 4 - 5 train shipments through Concord (depending on the size and
configuration of the shipping containers that are available), with the first shipment, comprised of
spent fuel from South Korea and Indonesia, tentatively scheduled for mid 1998. The next shipment would not occur for at least two years. A shipment is
defined as a single train carrying several spent fuel shipping containers. The proposed shipping
date is a DOE estimate only and could be moved back to the first half of 1998 because of delays
in planning and preparation.
With the UP/SP merger, the railroad will have the option of shipping the spent fuel either
through Reno on the UP line or north along the Feather River route of the Southern Pacific line.
The Feather River route is the one preferred by both DOE and Nevada since it avoids the Reno
are entirely, but it does cross the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation and runs parallel to the UP
line through Lovelock, Winemucca, Calin, Elko. However, even if DOE and UP designate the
Feather River route as the preferred on for the shipment, the route through Reno will still remain
a possibility in the event of problem along the primary route.
The State of Nevada has been working with the Western Governors' Association (WGA) to
assess the possible impacts of these shipments and coordinate planning, training, and related
activities. The WGA has established a working group comprised of representatives from
California, Nevada, Utah, and Idaho that is meeting regularly with DOE to obtain information
and provide a forum for states' input into DOE planning process.
Nevada's position has been that these shipments cannot begin until adequate emergency response
training and preparation has been done along the route. The State has also insisted that there be
adequate participation in planning for the shipments, and DOE has committed to making funds
available for participation. However, to date no monies have been forthcoming. In addition,
DOE has only recently begun to involve affected Indian Tribes, such as the Pyramid Lake Tribe
and others along the Nevada portion of the rail route.
DOE is proposing to develop and deliver a package of basic first responder training courses to
local emergency personnel in communities along the route. DOE is also offering opportunities
for more advanced radiological training to hazmat personnel and hospitals along the corridor as
needs are identified (through the REAC/TS courses at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the
TETRA courses the Nevada Test Site). The State Office of Emergency Support (formerly the
Office of Emergency Management) within the Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety
will coordinate training activities with other state and local agencies.
Protocols and procedures for inspecting the shipment within Nevada and possibly escorting it
through the state have yet to be worked out.
The foreign spent fuel shipments are being handled by DOE's Idaho Operations Office, 800 Energy Drive, Idaho Falls, ID 83401-1563 (Phone 1-800-708-2680). Information from DOE is available on the INTERNET at "http://www.em.doe.gov/nuclear/"
Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects
Carson City, NV 89710
702 687-5277 (Fax)
|OR||Office of Emergency Support|
2325 S. Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89710
702 687-6788 (Fax)