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Posted in the Daytona Beach News Journal on June 26, 2002 and at:
A very good diagram and summary of the tests carried out on the
transport casks can be found at the end of the online article.
Protesters share nuclear waste transport fears
By ANDREW LYONS (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DAYTONA BEACH -- Motorists traveling through Volusia and Flagler
counties could share Interstate 95 with trucks carrying three tons of
nuclear waste if the U.S. Senate allows the radioactive cargo to be
transported to Nevada for disposal.
Special interest groups alarmed by the potential dangers stopped in
Daytona Beach on Tuesday on a cross-country public relations tour,
urging elected officials to oppose a plan to ship the waste to Yucca
Federal approval would allow shipments next year on Florida's
interstates, highways and railroads through densely populated cities.
"We've got terrorists looking for dirty bombs. What's a bigger dirty
bomb than one of these?" Claude Ward, a member of the Blue Ridge
Environmental Defense League, asked during Tuesday morning's press
conference attended by a handful of people.
Although final routes for shipping the waste haven't been chosen, the
U.S. Department of Energy identifies possible rail routes along the
Atlantic Coast, as well as highways including I-95, I-10 and I-75.
If the Senate approves the plan next month, waste that historically has
been stored on-site at plants will be shipped next year from Florida's
three nuclear facilities: Florida Power & Light Co.'s Turkey Point plant
near Miami, FPL's St. Lucie Plant north of West Palm Beach and Florida
Power's Crystal River plant on the Gulf Coast north of Tampa.
Volusia and Flagler emergency management officials said Tuesday that
planning and training are already in place should a catastrophic
accident occur involving chemicals or radioactive materials.
They talked about the strict safety measures required for the shipping
of hazardous materials.
"It's part of our normal Hazmat (hazardous material) training," Volusia
County Deputy Fire Chief Jim Mauney said. "I don't think we have a
Motorists don't realize the dangerous materials that already flow down
Florida highways, railways and even the Intracoastal Waterway, including
highly explosive rocket fuel shipped to Cape Canaveral, said Troy
Harper, division chief for Flagler County Emergency Management.
"There's really not a whole lot we can do to stop it," Harper said of
the transport of dangerous material.
The nuclear power industry says there's little or no danger in shipping
nuclear material. More than 3,000 shipments of used nuclear fuel have
been made for more than 35 years with no injuries, fatalities or
environmental damage because of the radioactivity of the cargo,
according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.
Tony Ehrlich, on the other hand, is plenty concerned.
The spokesman for the Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice said more
than 2 million people in Florida live within 1 mile of an interstate
highway or railroad tracks where the waste would be transported.
He said his daughter and grandson live only a 1 1/2 miles from railroad
"National security is not just for Washington, D.C.," he said. "It
applies also to the residents of Florida."
Such shipments have been controversial in other parts of the country. In
South Carolina, Gov. Jim Hodges threatened to "lie down in front of the
trucks" to stop plutonium from being moved into the state. Last weekend,
the U.S. Department of Energy was expected to start shipping 6.5 tons of
nuclear material to South Carolina for storage from its Rocky Flats site
-- The Associated Press contributed to this story.