WIPP - Transportation Issues
The Transportation Shell Game
The DOE's WIPP Transportation program begins with the assumption that barrels containing untreated, raw plutonium-contaminated waste can be transported via truck across 22 states with no escorts - and there will never be an accident.
If WIPP opens, 38,000 shipments are scheduled over the next 35 years. 38,000 shipments and no accidents? This is an incredibly unrealistic assessment, and most citizens know just how deadly ONE plutonium-waste spill would be on America's highways.
If accidents do occur, local emergency responders and local hospitals will be required to handle the emergency. Not only has the cost of WIPP been passed onto taxpayers, but the responsiblity of cleanup in the case of accident is ours as well.
Even in New Mexico where intensive preparation has been ongoing for ten years, DOE experts will take between one and five hours to arrive at an accident scene.
Is DOE's rosy picture for transportation safety accurate?
Consider that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission standards for evaluating WIPP truck canisters were published in the 1960's. Since then the number and kinds of hazardous materials being transported on our highways have increased dramatically.
One example: WIPP truck canisters are tested to withstand heat from jet fuel fires at 1450 degrees F. for a duration of ½ hour. Today, over 21 chemicals on our highways burn at temperatures above that level. Propane burns at over 4,000 degrees F.
For a more detailed analysis of the problems inherit in the WIPP Transportation Program, please read WIPP Transportation Containers.
Summary - Radiation Exposure from WIPP Trucks.