Educational events to teach about nuclear waste shipping
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Educational road shows are being held to teach the public about waste produced from nuclear energy that could be shipped through Nebraska and other states this fall.
The shows provide information about the shipments from Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plane near Carlsbad, New Mexico, The Grand Island Independent reported . The show recently stopped in Grand Island at the Nebraska State Patrol Training Center.
Residents will be able to examine the trucks, trailers and containers used during the shipping process. They’ll also be able to learn about transportation and safety protocols.
The containers go through extensive testing to ensure they can remain intact, said Gaylon Fuller, senior training coordinator at WIPP.
Drivers undergo hours of training and travel in pairs, Fuller said. Trucks also have rigorous inspections and are tracked via satellite when transporting waste.
The waste typically contains contaminated items like rubber gloves, gowns and tools, said James Mason, who’s with a U.S. Department of Energy.
Shipping could begin in the fall or next spring, Mason said. About five shipments would be handled annually.
The U.S. Department of Energy suspended shipments in 2014 following two incidents that temporarily closed an underground repository. Waste shipments resumed in 2017 after the plant reopened.
The program has been operating since 1999 and has made 12,200 shipments without significant incidents, Mason said.
Information from: The Grand Island Independent, http://www.theindependent.com