Capitol Complex
Carson City, Nevada 89710
Telephone: (702) 687-3744
Fax: (702) 687-5277
Executive Director
April 18, 1996

Major General Marvin Esmond
Commanding Officer
Nellis Air Force Base
4370 North Washington Blvd., Ste. 117
Nellis Air Force Base, NV 89191-7076

Dear General Esmond:

As you may know, legislation currently pending in the U.S. Senate would authorize the Department of Energy (DOE) to construct a heavy haul road from Rachael, NV, through the Nellis Range to Area 25 at the Nevada Test Site. The road, identified in S1271 as the "Chalk Mountain Heavy Haul Route," would be used to transport spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive wastes either to a proposed interim storage facility at NTS or to the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

As the State of Nevada Agency with statutory responsibility for overseeing the federal high-level nuclear waste program in Nevada, the Agency for Nuclear Projects will need to evaluate the proposed route for purposes of safety and risk analysis. State personnel will, therefore, require ongoing access to those sections of the proposed heavy haul route that are within the Nellis Range.

In addition, should the proposal for heavy haul shipments of spent fuel and high- level waste go forward, State and federal inspectors and regulators will require routine access for the purposes of inspections and shipment monitoring. Under the provisions of S1271, shipments would commence in 1999 and continue for 30 years. While actual shipment numbers will depend upon the choice of transport canisters and size of shipments, we would expect somewhere between 9,000 and 20,000 total shipments during this period (between 6 and 13 shipments per week). It is also quite likely that thousands of shipments of low-level radioactive waste and hazardous wastes bound for storage or disposal at various NTS locations would also use the heavy haul road should it be constructed. State personnel responsible for inspecting, regulating, and monitoring these wastes will also require regular access to the Nellis portions of the route to carry out their statutory responsibilities.

I would appreciate it if you would inform me if the Air Force has a position on S1271. In addition, please advise what is required for State personnel to obtain access to the Nellis portions of the proposed heavy haul route corridor. Should you have questions regarding this matter or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Robert R. Loux
Executive Director


See Air Force Response Letter
of May 6, 1996

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