Nuclear Waste Hauling Becomes Concern in Vegas

August 4, 2000

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City officials say a fiery gasoline tanker truck accident on U.S. 95 has them worried about shipping high-level nuclear waste on Las Vegas highways.

The Las Vegas Sun reported last week that a state-funded analysis that calculated what would happen if a gasoline tanker caught fire and slammed into a truck hauling high-level nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain is giving safety officials nightmares.
Congress is currently trying to decide whether Yucca Mountain, located 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, will be used as the nation's repository for high-level nuclear waste. The likely routes for trucks to haul the waste would be U.S. 95, Interstate 15 and the Las Vegas Beltway.
During the analysis, a computer programmed with specifications for trucks that may haul nuclear waste through Southern Nevada showed that in the theoretical crash, escaping radiation would result in at least 200 deaths from cancer and 9,000 people being treated for various medical conditions.
Last week, a semi-truck slammed into a gasoline tanker that burst into flames, injured four people and dumped 8,700 gallons of fuel on southbound U.S. 95.

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