Nuke waste could be barged as well as shipped by rail and truck

| 3/25/2002

According to a congressional report, radioactive nuclear waste could be carried over Lake Michigan and other waterways before passing through the nation's sea and river ports on its way to a proposed waste dump in Yucca Mountain, Nev. The proposal would bring 21,572 tons of nuclear waste - or 19 percent of all the commercial power plant waste destined for Yucca Mountain - into commercial ports.

A U.S. Department of Energy report says if Congress endorses President Bush's decision to open the dump in 2010, thousands of radioactive shipments could be barged from 17 nuclear power plants through 15 commercial ports during a 38-year shipping campaign, a U.S. Department of energy report shows.

The congressional report says waste from the Kewaunee and Point Beach nuclear power plants in Northeastern Wisconsin could be taken by barge on Lake Michigan to the Port of Milwaukee. The waste shipments would then be placed on railcars and sent to Nevada where they would be trucked to the site. Reportedly, environmental groups say moving waste over waterways could be more dangerous than trucking it.

A total of 453 shipments from the Kewaunee, Point Beach and Palisades nuclear power plants in Michigan and Wisconsin could be shipped into the ports of Milwaukee and Muskegon, the federal report says.