Transportation of High-Level Waste
As a consequence of the DOE pending withdrawal of the Yucca Mountain License Application, application for water transfer was also withdrawn. That water was proposed as use to build the proposed Nevada Rail Line. Further plans to build a Nevada Rail line were halted as well as work to complete a final project-specific EIS.
- Nevada Rail options prior to year 2010
In 2006, Energy Department officials considered a Northern Nevada route, known as the Mina corridor, as an alternative rail route to the nuclear waste repository they want to build at Yucca Mountain. The Mina route also would pass through Esmeralda County.
To many analysts, the east-west Caliente corridor will be more expensive and more challenging from an engineering and construction standpoint than the 209-mile north-south Mina route. The Mina Route would mostly utilize abandoned, graded rail bed constructed in the early 1900s for mining support throughout the west-central Nevada region.
Even so, the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) were engaged in a project-specific EIS for the Nevada Rail line, addressing both the Caliente and Mina Corridors.
The benefits of Nevada Rail to local and state economies identified in the EIS should be integrated in the purpose, need for, and design of the system. Otherwise, the rail line likely will be designed, built, and operated to optimally transport HLW and SNF, but not to benefit local economies. Involvement in interpretation of the purpose and need for Nevada Rail would enable local entities to participate in the planning and design of the system. Including state and local decision makers in design and planning will help minimize disruptions and growth impacts during construction and ensure regional economic benefit beyond the life of the repository project.
If a Nevada Rail line is constructed, Esmeralda County should consider the advantages of greater affiliation and involvement in ownership and operation of the rail line regardless of alignment. An ownership and operation structure should be established to involve all impacted interests. Any such structure should include a model for distributing costs, effort, and benefits among the participating agencies, local government, and eventual owners following transportation of spent fuel to the repository.
One of the rail routes that is currently identified
in the Yucca Mountain EIS travels from the north end of Lander County
continuing south to the Lander County boundary line. Lander County
will monitor and study impacts on the county and it's residents in
the event that this railway is constructed as well as:
of U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) proposed spent nuclear
fuel and High Level Waste (HLW) transportation systems: DOE
has developed a private sector approach for moving spent
nuclear fuel to a national geological repository (Yucca Mountain)
in southern Nevada. DOE is pursuing an acquisition
process that relies on private industry (contractors) to
help the department provide services and equipment required
to move waste to Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Under
a draft Request for Proposals (RFP), published on September
1998 by DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management
(i.e., OCRWM or RW), the department intends to purchase services
and equipment from Regional Servicing Contractors (RSCs)
who will perform waste acceptance and transportation operations
to Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
OCRWM will maintain primary responsibility
to the States, Tribes and Affected Units
of Government (AUG) for assuring appropriate
interaction and consideration of their input
on transportation of spent nuclear fuel and will retain final
approval of all transportation routes. The private
sector contractors will accept spent nuclear fuel from its
owners and generators (i.e., public and private nuclear power
plants) and supply transportation casks and equipment for
moving spent fuel to Yucca Mountain.
County Rail Impact Assessment, November- 2006
are two Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) lines traversing
The westbound track, referred to as Track No. 1, is generally
parallel to Interstate 80 (I-80) and goes through Battle
Mountain. Track No. 2 is located north of Track No. 1 and
carries eastbound trains. This study assesses<
of the rail corridor, the condition of points where railroad
tracks cross roadways, and safety issues. It also maps
zoning and physical characteristics of the corridor.
rail lines have a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
4, which allows for heavy haul trains with speeds over
50 miles per hour
Typical speeds on the westbound track are 49 mph for freight
for passenger trains, both are slowed to 45 mph though
on the eastbound track are 70 mph for freight and 79 mph
for passenger trains. There are approximately 15 eastbound
and westbound freight trains per day. There is also a limited
amount of local service, typically five trains per day,
and daily AMTRAK service. The tracks have closely spaced
timber ties and appear to be in good condition. Under normal
operating conditions all eastbound trains use Track No.
2 and all westbound trains use Track No. 1. However, due
to local traffic serving industrial uses in the area, trains
could occasionally travel in either direction on either
to the large size of this document it has been broken up
into sections as follows:
1– 11 (Adobe
PDF File 582 kb)
PDF file 544 kb)
PDF File 409 kb)
PDF File 2,412 kb)
PDF File 3,501 kb
TRANSPORTATION EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PROGRAM (TEPP)
Emergency Planning, Preparedness, and Response