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Going the Distance? The Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in the United States GOING THE DISTANCE? THE SAFE TRANSPORT OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL AND HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE IN THE UNITED STATES Committee on Transportation of Radioactive Waste Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board Transportation Research Board NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Going the Distance? The Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in the United States THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this study was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (Grant No. DE-FG28-02RW12177), U.S. Department of Transportation (Order No. DTRS56-02-P-70041 and Contract No. DTPH56-05-C-0002), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Cooperative Agreement No. NRC-02-02-014), Electric Power Research Institute (Cooperative Agreement No. EP-P9056/C4563), National Cooperative Highway Research Program, and the National Academy of Sciences. All opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of these agencies and organizations. International Standard Book Number 0-309-10004-6 (Book) International Standard Book Number 0-309-65316-9 (PDF) Library of Congress Control Number 200697629 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academies Press 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Lockbox 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) http://www.nap.edu Cover design by Van Nguyen. Copyright 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Going the Distance? The Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in the United States THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Going the Distance? The Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in the United States COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE NEAL F. LANE, Chair, Rice University, Houston, Texas THOMAS B. DEEN, Vice Chair, National Research Council (retired), Stevensville, Maryland JULIAN AGYEMAN, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts LISA M. BENDIXEN, ICF Consulting, Lexington, Massachusetts DENNIS C. BLEY, Buttonwood Consulting, Inc., Oakton, Virginia HANK C. JENKINS-SMITH, Texas A&M University, College Station MELVIN F. KANNINEN, MFK Consulting Services, San Antonio, Texas ERNEST J. MONIZ, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge JOHN W. POSTON, SR., Texas A&M University, College Station LACY E. SUITER, Federal Emergency Management Agency (retired), Alexandria, Virginia JOSEPH M. SUSSMAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge ELIZABETH TEN EYCK, ETE Consulting, Inc., Great Falls, Virginia SETH TULER, Social & Environmental Research Institute, Greenfield, Massachusetts DETLOF VON WINTERFELDT, University of Southern California, Los Angeles THOMAS R. WARNE, Tom Warne & Associates, LLC, South Jordan, Utah CLIVE N. YOUNG, United Kingdom Department for Transport, London Board on Radioactive Waste Management Liaison1 NORINE E. NOONAN, College of Charleston, South Carolina Staff KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Study Director, Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board JOSEPH MORRIS, Senior Program Officer, Transportation Research Board DARLA J. THOMPSON, Research Associate LAURA D. LLANOS, Senior Program Assistant LEE FINEWOOD, Intern BRANDON JONES, Intern 1 Through February 2005, when the Board on Radioactive Waste Management was reorganized into the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board.
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Going the Distance? The Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in the United States NUCLEAR AND RADIATION STUDIES BOARD RICHARD A. MESERVE, Chair, Carnegie Institution, Washington, D.C. S. JAMES ADELSTEIN, Vice Chair, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts HAROLD L. BECK, Environmental Measurements Laboratory (retired), New York City, New York JOEL S. BEDFORD, Colorado State University, Fort Collins ROBERT M. BERNERO, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (retired), Gaithersburg, Maryland SUE B. CLARK, Washington State University, Pullman JAMES E. CLEAVER, University of California, San Francisco ALLEN G. CROFF, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (retired), Tennessee DAVID E. DANIEL, University of Texas at Dallas SARAH C. DARBY, Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU), Oxford, United Kingdom SHARON L. DUNWOODY, University of Wisconsin, Madison RODNEY C. EWING, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor ROGER L. HAGENGRUBER, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque DANIEL KREWSKI, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada KLAUS KÜHN, Technische Universität Clausthal, Germany SUSAN M. LANGHORST, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri NIKOLAY P. LAVEROV, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow MILTON LEVENSON, Bechtel International (retired), Menlo Park, California C. CLIFTON LING, Memorial Hospital, New York City, New York PAUL A. LOCKE, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland WARREN F. MILLER, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque ANDREW M. SESSLER, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California ATSUYUKI SUZUKI, Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, Tokyo JOHN C. VILLFORTH, Food and Drug Law Institute (retired), Derwood, Maryland PAUL L. ZIEMER, Purdue University (retired), West Lafayette, Indiana Staff KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Senior Board Director EVAN DOUPLE, Scholar RICK JOSTES, Senior Program Officer MICAH D. LOWENTHAL, Senior Program Officer BARBARA PASTINA, Senior Program Officer JOHN R. WILEY, Senior Program Officer
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Going the Distance? The Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in the United States CATHERINE S. BERKLEY, Financial and Administrative Officer TONI GREENLEAF, Financial and Administrative Associate DARLA J. THOMPSON, Research Associate COURTNEY GIBBS, Senior Program Assistant LAURA D. LLANOS, Senior Program Assistant MARILI ULLOA, Senior Program Assistant JAMES YATES, JR., Office Assistant
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Going the Distance? The Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in the United States TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE JOHN R. NJORD, Chair, Utah Department of Transportation, Salt Lake City MICHAEL D. MEYER, Vice Chair, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta MICHAEL W. BEHRENS, Texas Department of Transportation, Austin ALLEN D. BIEHLER, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Harrisburg LARRY L. BROWN, SR., Mississippi Department of Transportation, Jackson DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Norfolk Southern Corporation and Subsidiaries, Atlanta, Georgia ANNE P. CANBY, Surface Transportation Policy Project, Washington, D.C. JOHN L. CRAIG, Nebraska Department of Roads, Lincoln DOUGLAS G. DUNCAN, FedEx Freight, Memphis, Tennessee NICHOLAS J. GARBER, University of Virginia, Charlottesville ANGELA GITTENS, HNTB Corporation, Miami, Florida GENEVIEVE GIULIANO, University of Southern California, Los Angeles BERNARD S. GROSECLOSE, JR., South Carolina State Ports Authority, Charleston SUSAN HANSON, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts JAMES R. HERTWIG, CSX Intermodal, Jacksonville, Florida GLORIA JEAN JEFF, Michigan Department of Transportation, Lansing ADIB K. KANAFANI, University of California, Berkeley HERBERT S. LEVINSON, Herbert S. Levinson Transportation Consultant, New Haven, Connecticut SUE MCNEIL, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark MICHAEL R. MORRIS, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington CAROL A. MURRAY, New Hampshire Department of Transportation, Concord MICHAEL S. TOWNES, Hampton Roads Transit, Virginia C. MICHAEL WALTON, University of Texas, Austin LINDA S. WATSON, LYNX–Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando Staff ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR., Executive Director STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Director, Studies and Information Services
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Going the Distance? The Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in the United States Acknowledgments The committee conducted an extensive information-gathering effort during this study and attempted to reach out broadly to a wide range of organizations and individuals concerned with transportation of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The successful completion of this report would not have been possible without the cooperation and assistance of a very large number of organizations and individuals. The committee would especially like to thank the following organizations and individuals for providing logistical support, advice, and/or information for this study: The project sponsors, whose financial support made this study possible: Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Transportation (DOT), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), National Academy of Sciences (NAS), National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC). The committee would especially like to acknowledge the following individuals from these organizations for their support of the committee’s information-gathering efforts: DOE: Gary Lanthrum, Robin Sweeney, Jeffrey Williams, Judith Holm, Corine Macaluso, Alex Thrower, James Wade, Russ Dyer, Bill Boyle, Barry Miles, Ned Larson, Jozette Booth, Paul Detwiler, and Sue Loudner DOT: Dick Hannon, Richard Boyle, Michael Conroy, James Simmons, Kevin Blackwell, and Ryan Paquet
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Going the Distance? The Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in the United States EPRI: John Kessler NAS: E. William Colglazier NCHRP: Crawford Jencks USNRC: Bill Brach, Earl Easton, Jack Guttman, Mike Mayfield, Francis (Skip) Young, Wayne Hodges, and Bernie White The State of Nevada (Robert Loux) and its consultants (Robert Halstead, Jim Hall, Marvin Resnikoff, and James Ballard) Nevada counties: Clark County (Irene Navis, Fred Dilger, and Engelbrecht von Tiesenhausen), Eureka County (Abby Johnson), Lincoln County (Kevin Phillips), and Nye County (Les Bradshaw) Nuclear industry: Nuclear Energy Institute (Steve Kraft and the late John Vincent); Exelon Nuclear Power Corp. (Jeffrey Benjamin, Annie Caputo, Adam Levin, and Bob Rybak); Progress Energy (Steven Edwards); Energy Resources International (Eileen Supko); Private Fuel Storage (John Parkyn); and Ron Pope (consultant) States and state associations: New Mexico (Anne DeLain Clark and W. Scott Field) and Utah (Bill Sinclair); the Western Governors’ Association (Doug Larson); Western Interstate Energy Board (Bill Mackie); Council of State Governments—Midwest Office (Lisa Sattler and Thor Strong); Northeast Council of State Governments (Edward Wilds); and Southern States Energy Board (Chris Wells) Emergency management organizations: Department of Homeland Security (Eric Tolbert, Federal Emergency Management Agency); Argonne National Laboratory (Gordon Veerman); City of Chicago Fire Department (Gene Ryan); Linn County, Iowa Emergency Management Agency (Ned Wright); and Illinois Emergency Management Agency (Tim Runyon) Transportation organizations: Association of American Railroads (Bob Fronczak); Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (Patrick Brady); Tri-State Motor Transit (David Bennett); Transportation Technology Center (Jon Hannafious); and Union Pacific Railroad (Sandi Covi) Universities and research organizations: Doug Ammerman and Ken Sorensen (Sandia National Laboratories); Bob O’Connor (National Science Foundation); Amy Goodin (University of New Mexico); Dennis Mileti (University of Colorado); Michael Lindell (Texas A&M University); James Flynn (Decision Research); Christiana Drew (University of Washington); Elaine Vaughan (University of California, Irvine); and Christopher Becker (University of Michigan) Other nongovernmental organizations: National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (Veronica Eady); Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force (Judy Treichel); Citizen Alert (Michele Boyd and Peggy Maze); Southwest Research and Information Center (Don Hancock); International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management (Mervyn Tano); and the Keystone Center (Janesse Brewer)
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Going the Distance? The Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in the United States The many other individuals who attended and offered personal comments at the committee’s meetings or provided information and materials for this report A subgroup of committee members visited Germany and the United Kingdom during the study to become better acquainted with European transportation practices and experiences (see Appendix B). The committee would especially like to acknowledge and thank the following organizations for providing logistical support and information for this trip: German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM); especially Manfred Hennecke and Thomas Böllinghaus, who arranged the committee’s visit to BAM to witness a package test AREVA; especially Frederic Bailly and Vincent Roland, who arranged a briefing for the committee subgroup on French transportation operations British Nuclear Fuels, Ltd. (BNFL); especially Colin Boardman and Jonathan Carter, who arranged and accompanied the committee subgroup on its tour of BNFL facilities Roger Evans (London Assembly), Linda Hayes (Cricklewood Against Nuclear Trains), Steve Robinson (Environment Business Management), and Patrick van den Bulck (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) for sharing their perspectives with the committee about BNFL’s transport program Christopher Pecover (U.K. Department of Transport) for accompanying the committee on its visit to the United Kingdom This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remains confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Mark Abkowitz, Vanderbilt University John Ahearne, Sigma Xi and Duke University Robert Bernero, Consultant Sherwood Chu, Consultant Emil Frankel, Parsons Brinckerhoff
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Going the Distance? The Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in the United States B. John Garrick, Consultant Richard Garwin, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center (emeritus) David Kocher, SENES Oak Ridge Center for Risk Assessment Dick Meserve, Carnegie Institution of Washington Kathleen Meyer, Keystone Scientific, Inc. Bill Nix, Stanford University (emeritus) Eugene Rosa, Washington State University Frank Saccomanno, University of Waterloo Gordon Veerman, Argonne National Laboratory Chelsea White III, Georgia Institute of Technology Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Chris Whipple, ENVIRON International Corporation, and Lester Hoel, University of Virginia. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Research Council. Finally, this report could not have been completed without the help of many National Research Council staff. The committee especially wants to acknowledge Kevin Crowley (Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board) and Joe Morris and Steve Godwin (Transportation Research Board) for their help in organizing the committee’s information-gathering meetings and developing the committee’s final report; Darla Thompson, Lee Finewood, and Brandon Jones (Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board) for assistance with research and writing; Laura Llanos (Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board) for handling committee logistics; and Steve Mautner and Mary Kalamaras (National Academies Press) for helping the committee better understand the audience for this report.
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Going the Distance? The Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in the United States Contents SUMMARY 1 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 7 1 INTRODUCTION 25 1.1 Study Process, 27 1.2 Strategy for Addressing the Study Charges, 30 1.3 Background on Spent Fuel and High-Level Waste, 38 2 TRANSPORTATION PACKAGE SAFETY 55 2.1 Transportation Package Designs and Regulations, 56 2.2 Package Performance Modeling Studies, 64 2.3 Full-scale Package Testing Under Extreme Conditions, 81 2.4 Critical Assessment of Package Performance, 101 2.5 Package Performance Findings and Recommendations, 106 3 TRANSPORTATION RISK 109 3.1 Health and Safety Risks, 114 3.2 Social Risks, 149 3.3 Comparative Risk, 161 3.4 Transportation Risks: Findings and Recommendations, 178
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Going the Distance? The Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in the United States 4 TRANSPORT OF RESEARCH REACTOR SPENT FUEL TO INTERIM STORAGE 183 4.1 DOE Management of Research Reactor Spent Fuel, 184 4.2 Regulations Governing Selection of Routes for Shipping Spent Fuel, 192 4.3 Selection of Routes for Shipping Research Reactor Spent Fuel, 194 4.4 Responses to the Study Charge, 208 5 IMPROVING SPENT FUEL AND HIGH-LEVEL WASTE TRANSPORTATION IN THE UNITED STATES 212 5.1 Principal Findings and Recommendation, 213 5.2 Transportation Operations, 216 5.3 Organizational Structure of the Federal Transportation Program, 260 REFERENCES 273 APPENDIXES A Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 287 B List of Presentations Received at Committee Meetings 294 C Federal Repository Transportation System 301 D Glossary 322 E Acronyms 336