THE FISCAL EFFECTS OF PROPOSED TRANSPORTATION OF
SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL ON NEVADA STATE AGENCIES

 

5.  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

The accelerated schedule for transportation and interim storage of nuclear waste under proposed legislation would require Nevada agencies to prepare to protect the health, safety and commerce of the State from the effects of federally-mandated action. Discussions with agency officials and review of documents have supported this analysis of the costs of the State's preparation for nuclear waste transportation and interim storage.

5.1  COSTS TO NEVADA STATE AGENCIES: YEARS 1-3

The estimated costs for four Nevada state agencies are summarized in Figure 14, and detailed in Appendix B. The total for the first three years of the prospective shipment campaign is $498 million, a very large portion of which is for accelerated infrastructure improvements along affected highway routes, and provision of highway ports of entry on I-15 near the Arizona and California state lines. The annual costs in the second and third years of the shipment are $7.4 million (mostly involving the Nevada Highway Patrol). However, annual costs in subsequent years could be higher due to the need to maintain and replace equipment, and to provide refresher training.

Figure 14. The Cost to Four Nevada State Agencies

Year 1 Year 2, 3 Years 1-3
SUBTOTAL $483,205,229 $7,359,868 $497,924,965
Dept. of Transportation $419,739,495 $134,995 $420,009,485
Nevada Highway Patrol $7,700,012 $4,364,703 $13,574,378
Emergency Communications $24,996,232 $1,651,266 $28,298,764
Division of Emergency Mgt $30,706,990 $1,146,404 $32,999,798
Public Service Commission $62,500 $62,500 $187,500
Department of Health NA NA NA
Dept. of Forestry NA NA NA

5.2  THE IMPACTS OF A FEDERAL ACTION WITHOUT ASSURANCE OF MITIGATION

The cost estimates presented in Figure 14 may be considered high by "normal" impact assessment standards. In an analysis of fiscal impacts of a proposed action over which a jurisdiction has some control or influence, it is assumed that the entity proposing the action will accommodate the needs of the affected jurisdiction, and will avoid or mitigate adverse impacts. In the case of proposed legislation (S-104 or HR 1270) for accelerated shipment to an interim storage in Nevada, the proposed action would occur over the clearly expressed opposition of the affected jurisdiction, and the proponent has not made commitments to measures which might avoid or mitigate adverse impacts. Indeed, many provisions in the proposed legislation indicate the apparent willingness of Congress to ignore or supersede the interests of the State of Nevada in favor of the interests of expediting the shipment of nuclear waste. An example is the provision of S-104 Section 501 that state, local and Tribal ordinances may be preempted if they are found to be an obstacle to the purposes of the Act.

To protect the State of Nevada's interests, including the protection of the health, safety and welfare of its citizens, and to avoid undue disruptions to the local and interstate commerce on its highways, the actions described in this report appear reasonable. Some of the actions may be expected to occur in the future without the expedited shipment of nuclear wastes, but because they are not currently under development, it is reasonable to attribute them to the needs associated with the federally-mandated actions represented by S. 104 and H.R. 1270.

5.3  COSTS MAY OCCUR AS SHORTFALLS OR DEFICIENCIES

The estimates of needs of State agencies, as described in this report, are quantifications of the difference between where the State of Nevada is today and where it should be at the time of the first shipments. However, no attempt has been made to predict specifically which of the needs described here will actually be implemented, and which may not be implemented due to cost or time constraints. Also, no attempt is made to determine who will pay for each of the staff, equipment or capital needs described here. Although State agency personnel have identified these items as necessary to protect the public, it is unlikely that the State can pay for all these needs, or that all hiring, construction and acquisition can be completed in time to prepare for the accelerated shipment schedule being mandated by the Congress. Those items of public health, safety and welfare need that are not implemented at the time of the first shipments will remain as shortfalls or deficiencies in public requirements, quantified in dollars. In fact, although expressed in monetary terms, those unmet needs would result in the assumption of additional risk or other burdens of the national nuclear waste program by the people of the State of Nevada


Planning Information Corporation
June 29, 1998
1141C331.008

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