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Which can then be sent anywhere in Russia. Footnote Fresh fuel assemblies are also transported to Russian nuclear power plants by rail — here is a Russian language documentary on the process. Petersburg — protesters threatened at gunpoint March The protesters with Bellona and other Russian environmental groups were accosted by the guard bearing an AK, who cocked and pointed the weapon at the environmentalists who were filming the results of their radiation measurements — which exceeded background radiation levels by 30 times.

Spent nuclear fuel trains elsewhere Countries who operate nuclear reactors of Soviet design often export their spent nuclear fuel to Russia — Ukraine and Bulgaria have agreements in place ; while including Finland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have done so in the past.

Different types of energy sources (or fuels) are used for transportation in the United States

Sweden: 40 per year by ship. UK: per year by rail. Germany: 40 per year by rail. Liked it? Take a second to support Marcus Wong on Patreon!


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Related posts. This entry was posted in Trains and tagged freight trains , nuclear power , rail freight , Russia , Russian Railways , waste management. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Support Euro Gunzel on Patreon! See more of my Europe trip photos. Euro Gunzel An Australian railfan in Europe. Proudly powered by WordPress. Two additional benefits of not relying on nuclear power are the reduction in financial liability to the US government for any nuclear accident including vehicle crashes involving nuclear cargo and the reduced likelihood of terrorist attack on nuclear facilities.

Decreased reliance on nuclear power plants would reduce the financial exposure of the United States. Finally, since the terrorist attacks of September 11, , there is concern that operational nuclear power plants may be potential terror targets. Phasing out nuclear plants would remove the threat of terrorism, as well as reduce the potential impact of natural disaster on nuclear plants and storage sites. Eliminating these risks will not only protect public health but also eliminate the expense of protecting the plants from terrorist attack or disaster.

Moreover, Americans need to be encouraged to reduce energy consumption, which will reduce the need for unhealthy energy sources. By using clean energy sources and reducing consumption, we can reduce our reliance on nuclear power, subsequently eliminating the public health risks associated with SNF transportation. Challenge 2: Minimize Transport of Nuclear Waste As of , 54, tons of SNF sits waiting for disposal at both operating and decommissioned nuclear sites across the country. A national nuclear waste repository was expected to open in at Yucca Mountain—a site that was designated as the sole repository candidate in Reaching a conclusion on the final storage site for SNF could take decades.

In the meantime, SNF will continue to accumulate at nuclear sites across the nation. The question of what to do with SNF in the meantime, an issue that has been discussed among the nuclear science community for the last decade, is more pertinent than ever. Three options exist:. Principal Strategy 1: Endorse on-site storage as the responsible option in the absence of a national waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission NRC concluded that existing quantities of SNF would be safe in storage at reactor sites, in cooling pools and dry casks, for at least years without a significant environmental impact. Maintaining on-site storage of SNF also continues to put pressure on the federal government to establish a viable permanent site for a repository. Opponents of on-site storage claim that it hinders the growth of nuclear power, because reactor sites will have to consider the feasibility of continuing to store old SNF while producing new waste.

Utility companies do not have indefinite responsibility for storing SNF and DOE will have to continue to compensate them for storing the waste according to liabilities under judgments and settlements related to the Nuclear Waste Act of Without a permanent site for SNF, local opposition to reactors may increase as communities learn that waste may remain in their proximity indefinitely. Federal efforts should focus on establishing a permanent site for SNF so that waste can eventually be relocated to a safe and secure site. Principal Strategy 2: Reject consolidated interim storage of SNF by federal, state, and local authorities on the grounds of posing an unnecessary risk to public health.

The idea of designating an interim site for storing SNF has been discussed since the late s. A federal emergency storage facility would have served as an emergency backup site for nuclear reactors, capable of storing up to 2, metric tons of SNF. A user-funded storage facility would have stored up to 5, metric tons of waste, primarily from decommissioned reactors.

Associated Data

Neither recommendation, each of which would have cost several hundred million dollars to complete, was pursued. Since then, SNF waste has proliferated beyond what such sites could have accommodated. Another option sought to establish an interim site close to the designated permanent repository. Private facilities have also been explored as an option. Private Fuel Storage, a consortium of utility companies, began working in to establish a private interim site on the Skull Valley Band of Goshutes Indian reservation.

This project was halted in because of public opposition. The risks associated with this option may have a more significant human and environmental cost. The fear that a temporary site may end up becoming a permanent SNF waste site appears especially valid given the recent abandonment of Yucca Mountain. This option would also open the door to increased transportation risks, because SNF would need to be moved from its current location at reactors to the temporary interim site and then again to a permanent location. The option would allow for additional on-site storage, allowing the waste to decay and decreasing the risk of handling it when transporting it to a permanent repository.

Alternatively, storage systems may degrade over time, possibly resulting in increased risk to the safety and security of HLNW. The benefit of transporting waste is not worth the risk that could be incurred by moving waste twice, and APHA recommends that reactors continue to establish protocols for safe on-site storage of SNF. Challenge 3: Ensure safe transport of nuclear waste. Transport of SNF is an inevitable reality and will continue for the foreseeable future, consistent with current regulatory policies.

Although DOT is primarily responsible for regulating the safe transport of radioactive waste, NRC sets regulatory standards for the design, performance, and security of transportation casks. Under these regulations, contractors are often used to transport spent nuclear fuel in 1 of 2 ways: trucks and rail.

Nuclear energy: safety management of spent fuel

To ensure maximum safety, SNF is shipped in specially engineered casks, designed to prevent release of radioactive chemicals into the environment under both normal and vehicle crash conditions. These casks must demonstrate their ability to contain harmful release of radioactive material to be certified by NRC. This and similar interactions ensure all routes meet the regulatory requirements set for safe and secure transport of spent nuclear fuel. Routes are typically selected to minimize risk with consideration of factors such as distance of shipment, vehicle crash rates, time in transit, population density, time of day, and day of the week.

Since the early s, thousands of shipments of commercially generated SNF have been transported throughout the United States. Fortunately, no catastrophic incidents of radiological releases to the environment or harm to the public have taken place. Shipments, however, will increase drastically once a federal repository is established, begging the question of whether the shipment of waste can continue to be safe and secure. In addition, until such a permanent waste storage site can be found, transport of waste between commercial sites may continue, and it should be done in the safest way possible.

Although some of the current practices for route selection have been found adequate and reasonable, there is reason for concern about the route selection process and the minimal stakeholder engagement throughout the route selection process.

Transportation of Spent Nuclear Fuel

Stakeholders exist both within the national context and among the international community. Tribal nations have been disproportionately affected by the production of nuclear weapons and energy, as well as the environmental damage from such production.

Transport of SNF is anticipated only to increase. There are, however, strategies to reduce the risk of this transport to public health. Principal Strategy 1. Minimize risks to public health through use of the safest mode possible. One of the key concerns regarding SNF transportation is the mode of transport and the selection of routes. Stakeholders and other interested groups have raised concerns over whether the practices used are always the safest and whether they take into account the welfare of communities through which the waste travels.

Over the past decades, the majority of shipments of commercially generated SNF have been made by truck. Rail with dedicated trains has been found to reduce the total number of shipments, 12 generally has a greater distance from other vehicular traffic or people along transportation routes, and offers clear operational advantages, which makes control of transportation activities more efficient.

Where truck transport continues despite acknowledgment of mostly rail as the safest mode, truck routes should be diversified.

Current truck transport prefers the use of interstate highways and urban bypass loops when available to minimize the total distance or time traveled. Various experts have voiced alarm, however, that this preference leads to waste moving through dense urban areas. Analysis of the potential risk reduction from variations on regulated truck routes is inconclusive.

Studies have shown both rerouting options that decrease risk as well as rerouting option that increase risk. Overall, more research is needed to determine the best possible ways to reduce the public health risk of transportation of SNF through diversification of transportation routes.

Principal Strategy 2: Promote the genuine and holistic engagement of stakeholders throughout the decision-making process for the necessary transport of spent nuclear fuel. Although many key stakeholders and multiple overlapping interests challenge the current system for managing the transport of SNF, DOE has vacillated in its approach to stakeholder engagement. In the s, site-specific advisory boards for federal nuclear sites were established, 51 and open dialogue between federal-level decision makers and public interests grew.

As the political leadership changed, however, so did priorities at DOE.

TET - Chapter 6 - Household Spending on Transportation | Bureau of Transportation Statistics

DOE declined the request. No federal, systemwide advisory committees give comment and advice on the intrastate and interstate transport of spent nuclear fuel or other radioactive wastes. Engaging these voices would increase the safety of necessary SNF transport. Actions APHA believes that transportation of spent nuclear fuel poses a national public health threat that is largely preventable.

Accordingly, APHA—. What is Public Health? Problem Statement and Evidence The transportation of spent nuclear fuel from nuclear reactors, a toxic stew of radioactive materials, unnecessarily increases the risk of a public health catastrophe. Search Query Submit Search. Facebook Twitter Flipboard LinkedIn. Sandia National Laboratories researchers and partners recently completed a 14,mile triathlon-like test to gather data on the stresses spent nuclear fuel experiences during transportation. David Szondy. David Szondy is a freelance journalist, playwright, and general scribbler based in Seattle, Washington.

A retired field archaeologist and university lecturer, he has a background in the history of science, technology, and medicine with a particular emphasis on aerospace, military, and cybernetic subjects. In addition, he is the author of a number of websites, four award-winning plays, a novel that has thankfully vanished from history, reviews, scholarly works ranging from industrial archaeology to law, and has worked as a feature writer for several international magazines. He has been a New Atlas contributor since Sign in to post a comment.

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