Transportation Access to Yucca Mountain: Critical Issues

by R. J. Halstead, Nuclear Waste Project Office, Carson City, United States,
R. R. Souleyrette, Nuclear Waste Project Office, Carson City, United States,
R. di Bartolo, Nuclear Waste Project Office, Carson City, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1991


Transportation planning for a repository at Yucca Mountain is complicated because of uncertainty about the modes and numbers of nuclear waste shipments and because of uncertainty about the routes which will be used. There could be as many as 76,000 truck shipments, or as few as 1,060 dedicated train shipments, during repository operations. The site lacks rail access. Three rail access options currently under study range in length from 120 miles to more than 400 miles. The site is more than 100 miles from the Interstate highway system. The UNLV Transportation Research Center has evaluated three rail and four highway routes using a broad range of impact measures. This preliminary evaluation found that the routing options differ significantly regarding resident and non-resident populations, environmentally sensitive areas, accident rates, and other factors. Crosscutting issues include impacts on Nevada Indian tribes, potential conflicts with U.S. Air Force operations, and future population growth in southern Nevada. Considerable additional analysis will be required prior to environmental impact statement scoping.

Subject Headings: Highways and roads | Radioactive wastes | Rail transportation | Uncertainty principles | Routing (transportation) | Waste sites | Recycling | Traffic accidents | Nevada | United States

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