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E-M:/ Press Release/Radioactive Waste on MI Interstates and Railroads
- Subject: E-M:/ Press Release/Radioactive Waste on MI Interstates and Railroads
- From: AliceH777@aol.com
- Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 11:15:59 EDT
- Delivered-To: email@example.com
- Delivered-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- List-Name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-To: AliceH777@aol.com
Enviro-Mich message from AliceH777@aol.com
Embargoed until: 9:00 AM-June 25, 2002
Contacts: Don't Waste Michigan, Alice Hirt 616-335-3405, Michael Keegan
Brian Imus-PIRGIM 734-662-6597
MICHIGAN COULD SEE OVER 3,000 TRUCK SHIPMENTS
EACH CARRYING THE EQUIVALENT OF 240 TIMES
THE RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL RELEASED AT HIROSHIMA
Lansing, MI . . .Trucks and trains each carrying the equivalent of 240 times
the radioactive material released at Hiroshima could rumble through Michigan
communities if the Senate votes in the next few weeks to allow the Yucca
Mountain project to go ahead. These are the findings of a report written by
PIRGIM and released today by Don't Waste Michigan entitled "Radioactive Roads
and Rails: Hauling Nuclear Waste Through our Neighborhoods". The report
details the Department of Energy's proposal for more than 105,000 truck
shipments of highly radioactive waste from all across the country to Yucca
The "Radioactive Roads and Rails" report shows that Michigan alone could see
3,192 truck shipments or 488 rail shipments over the course of 38 years.
Truck shipments of nuclear waste could come south on Interstates 75 and 69
and west on Interstate 94 or rail shipments could travel through Bay City,
Saginaw, Flint, Lansing and Battle Creek over the course of four decades.
Other waste shipments could be carried by barge over Lake Michigan.
"Commuters on Interstates 75, 69 and 94 could find themselves stuck in
traffic behind three and a half tons of high-level nuclear waste," said Alice
Hirt of Don't Waste Michigan. "With up to 3,192 truck shipments over four
decades, this is going to put too many people in harm's way."
High-level nuclear waste is recognized as among the most dangerous substance
known to humankind. When initially removed from the reactor core, it can
deliver a lethal dose of radiation within seconds. The Department of Energy
intends to ship the waste in transportation casks, but size and weight
limitations make it impossible to build a transportation cask that does not
"leak" some radiation. The DOE acknowledges that a truck carrying a nuclear
waste cask will emit the equivalent of one chest x-ray per hour of radiation
to those who are caught in traffic nearby. "In the best case scenario, these
shipments are like rolling x-ray machines," said Brian Imus of PIRGIM. "In
the worst case scenario, these shipments are mobile Chernobyls."
According to one DOE estimate, there will be as many as 310 accidents in the
course of transporting this highly radioactive waste across the country.
There have been at least eight reported nuclear waste transportation
accidents in the U.S. involving radioactive contamination of transport
vehicles, roads and rails. Emergency Medical Services officials have stated
repeatedly that a severe nuclear waste accident - which could involve
thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in property damage - is not
something they have the training or equipment to properly respond to.
Because of the potential for such horrendous accidents, several studies show
that property values will decline for those millions of Americans living in
the vicinity of the transportation routes.
The DOE currently has no plans to take into account the additional dangers of
transporting nuclear waste post-September 11. The Yucca Mountain project
involves the movement of nuclear waste from 131 more securable locations.
This entails thousands of miles of roadway and rail lines that cannot be
secured from attacks, creating an opportunity for sabotage throughout
communities across America. "At the end of the road, under this ill-conceived
plan, the waste will be dumped at Yucca Mountain - in a porous mountain on an
aquifer in an earthquake zone," said Michael Keegan. "It's time for Senators
Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow to say no to this dangerous transportation
scheme and to vote against Yucca Mountain."
# # # 30 # # #
PIRGIM is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy group with
10,000 members in Michigan. Coalition Partner is Don't Waste Michigan.
Americans can visit HYPERLINK http://www.mapscience.org www.mapscience.org
and see how closely nuclear waste shipments would pass by their home.
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