Would you drive a nuclear waste truck?

| 6/24/2002

Many truckdrivers wouldn't hesitate if called upon to transport nuclear waste from points across the country to Nevada's Yucca Mountain. But they should, because it's not safe, according to a June 19 editorial in The New York Times.

Jim Hall, a member of the National Academy of Engineering's Committee on Combating Terrorism, was chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board from 1994 to 2001.

Each truck container of spent nuclear fuel headed for Yucca Mountain "would carry more radioactive material than was released by the nuclear bombs used in World War II," Hall wrote. "If one of these containers were breached in an accident or a terrorist attack, the results would be catastrophic."

Hall noted that Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham said he's just beginning to formulate a transportation plan, because so much time was spent locating a dump site. "Congress needs to force the Department of Energy to reassess the dangers of transporting high-level nuclear waste and develop a secure plan before proceeding with the Yucca Mountain project."