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3 The Waste Management Network: The Role of Transportation and Repository Location The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 mandates that the President recommend a first site for the geologic dis- posal of high-level radioactive waste no later than March 31, 1987, and a second site no later than March 31, 1990. The placement of these sites will be part of a nuclear waste management system comprising reactors; transporta- tion casks, modes, and corridors; a repository; and, conceivably, interim storage facilities, reprocessing plants, or both. The geographical design of this network will create social, economic, and institutional effects that deserve major consideration in the development and implementation of the Department of Energy's Mission Plan, which has been formulated to achieve the intent of this legislation. Involved are such issues as the sched- uling of spent fuel shipments from reactors, scheduling of waste emplacement in repositories, design of an efficient transportation system, development of an appropriate regulatory system, and development, if neces- sary, of interim away-from-reactor storage facilities. Chapter 1 noted that the assessment of socioeconomic effects at individual sites requires an understanding of the entire management network, not simply the repository site. The panel examined the socioeconomic effects of the above-ground radioactive waste management system from three perspectives: the number and location of reposi- tories, the type of transport used (rail or truck) to move fuel, and the effect of temporary above ground storage of waste in special facilities. Very little analysis has been done on the socioeconomic effects associated with these choices. This restricted the panel's ability to develop definitive, quantitative estimates of alternatives and also narrowed the range of alternatives that it was able to assess. Instead, the 48
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49 panel sought to identify the types of socioeconomic and institutional effects that may be expected to occur and the policy issues that will need to be addressed in the implementation of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. THE WASTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN OPERATION The production of electricity from uranium fission requires a fuel supply and preparation system, a power plant system, and a system for long-term isolation of spent fuel and radioactive by-products, with or without reprocessing. For many years it was assumed that all spent fuel from commercial reactors would be reprocessed to recover unused fissionable material. This has not happened, and spent fuel has accumulated at reactor sites pending a decision as to whether it will remain in long-term on-site storage or be shipped to interim or final disposal facilities. Commercial nuclear power reactors licensed, under con- struction, and planned as of January l, 1982, are shown in Figure 3.1. Because spent fuel is highly radioactive, all opera- tions involved in moving it to interim storage or to a repository site for final isolation will require a high degree of care in handling, transportation, and disposal. Receiving the fuel at a repository site, for example, will require highly specialized operators, supervisors, and inspectors (U.S. Department of Energy 1979). In addition, if the number of power plants in operation increases from the current 79 to the projected 144, including those in existence, ordered, or under con- struction, the number of spent fuel shipments that must ultimately be handled will increase proportionately. Utility estimates provided to the panel called for these shipments to begin from 15 plants in the mid-1980s, growing substantially to shipments from more than lOO plants shortly after 2000. If reprocessing or interim storage is added, this would increase transportation activities further. The siting of nuclear waste repositories will require the transportation of spent fuel across many states. Shipments through local jurisdictions at the outer fringes of the transportation network would be relatively infre- quent, but, within the main transportation corridors, the closer a community is to a repository site, the more fre- quently shipments pass by. Alternative designs of waste
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51 transport and handling systems may vary significantly in their operational requirements, their effects on dif- ferent regions of the country, and their regulatory burdens. In this chapter, the panel considers the ~ ~ effects associated with the impacts of repository location and spent fuel trans- portation. In formulating a Mission Plan, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will need to compare these effects explicitly with the site-specific effects (see Chapter 4) and geologic criteria used to assess individual proposed repository,sites. system-wide economic and social A REFERENCE CASE By early 1983 there were 79 nuclear reactors with oper- ating licenses or authorizations, 60 with construction permits, 3 with construction permits pending, and 2 units on order. Of the 60 under construction, 54 are now more than 25 percent complete and, according to utility esti- mates (Behnke 1980), 39 of these are likely to be com- pleted. Thus, by the early twenty-first century, there are likely to be more than 100 reactors discharging spent fuel in the United States. The panel took an estimate of 113 reactors as its reference case to identify socioeco- nomic and institutional considerations involved in deploying the waste management system. This estimate is close to the DOE's January 1983 preliminary low case estimate of 115 reactors by 2000 (Diedrich 1983). This is, therefore, a relatively low case assessment of potential effects related to program size. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) was asked by the panel to use its computer program and planning , assumptions to provide detail on rail and truck access to reactors, transportation routes, transportation cask inventories, system costs, and transport speeds to several hypothetical sites stipulated by the panel. These cal- culations show the projected movement of spent fuel from operating and planned reactors to possible repositories. The volume of transported fuel is only that which must be shipped, owing to the exhaustion of spent-fuel pool capacity. The mix of rail and truck transport is based on the availability of rail access to a reactor; if such access exists, shipments travel by rail. Otherwise they travel by truck. (A least-cost mix would therefore probably involve a higher proportion of truck shipments than is given here, with shorter routes favoring truck
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52 shipment and longer shipments favoring rail.) The number of annual shipments from 113 plants (a mix of boiling and pressurized water reactors), their transportation routes, distances, costs, and cask requirements are itemized for the years 1986 to 2004.* (Appendix A describes this analysis and the DOE data and planning assumptions.) Table 3.1 shows a set of radioactive waste management systems and the one chosen by the panel as its reference The Waste Funnel The transport of spent reactor fuel entails a variety of activities: loading on trucks or rail cars, or both; possible collection at depots or transfer points (for rail shipments); monitoring passage along highways or rail lines; and offloading at the storage facilities. This network of activities can be viewed as a "waste funnel" in which spent fuel from widely dispersed power plants is transported via waste corridors to one or more storage sites. The effects of this activity are thinly distributed at the network's many origins at the outer range (i.e., the wide end) of the funnel but increase rapidly as the fuel moves toward depots, heavily traveled routes, and repositories at the mouth of the funnel. In the past, DOE has assumed that 90 percent of spent reactor fuel and waste material would be moved by rail (DOE/EIS-0046F 1980, Chapter 4.5), an assumption that is consistent with planning in Western Europe and Japan, where essentially all spent fuel is shipped by rail. The primary reason for this is the scale economy of being *Time and resource constraints did not allow the panel to review the validity of each ORNL assumption or to adjust the timing and schedule assumptions that had been over- taken by events. The same constraints also restricted the number of variant cases that the panel could address. It should be noted that the appraisal of logistical properties of a radioactive waste management system was done not so much as a realistic scheduling exercise as to ~'um~nate socioeconomic and institutional issues. The implementation of a waste program will necessarily involve a broader set of scenarios and deeper understanding of assumptions than has been possible in this review (cf. DOE/EIS-0046F 1980, Chapter 7).
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54 able to move wastes from one year's operation of a 1000-MW pressurized water reactor with 7 rail shipments rather than 75 by truck (based on cask sizes from our reference case).* In the panel's reference case, a small number of rail and truck shipments would be required initially, but the number would rise with time, reaching a rate of 575 by rail and 2480 by truck in 2004 (Table 3.2). This suggests a 30 percent truck/70 percent rail system in terms of fuel carried. In the early years, many shipments would require at least some truck service, as only 8 of 24 reactors expected to ship fuel by 1990 are currently accessible by rail (Appendix A and Tables A.1 and A.7). Approximately 900 truck shipments and 44 rail cars would be required in that year, which implies ~ h ~ Noreen truck/37 percent rail breakdown. Changes in the study assumptions could substantially alter estimated transportation requirements. If, as is likely, a new generation of truck and rail casks that carry more spent fuel per trip is designed and licensed for older spent fuel, total cask requirements and numbers of shipments would be lower and capital costs could decline. If rail lines were to carry spent fuel on dedicated trains, transit speeds may change and carrier costs will increase. The panel recognizes that trans- portation technology, and especially cask design, is undergoing rapid change. Refinements and sensitivity analysis for costs and logistical requirements should be performed to assist DOE's preparation of a Mission Plan. This rate of waste movement, however, is for a system in which spent fuel is shipped to a repository in accor- dance with the ORAL planning assumptions. If the opening of a repository were delayed until the early twenty-first century, inventories of spent fuel would certainly be cooler (therefore more fuel could be transported in a ,= ~ *A boiling water reactor (BOOR) would require a few more truck shipments because BWR truck casks used in these calculations hold slightly less spent fuel. Rail casks for the two reactor types have roughly equivalent capa- city. Data on shipment dates and quantities were originally supplied to Oak Ridge National Laboratory by the DOE's Savannah River Laboratory and its subcontractor, the S. M. Stoller Company. The data on required shipment dates and volumes have changed considerably in the past and are likely to change in the future (see Appendix A).
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55 TABLE 3.2 Annual Spent Fuel Shipments to a Single Storage Facility Mixed Mode Truck YearRailTruck Only 198611188 312 198713575 711 198829288 612 1989411053 1527 199044916 1404 199158635 1281 1992901214 2202 19931211110 2424 1994166760 2582 19952171385 3765 19962481593 4275 19972731348 4314 19983221857 5371 19993962030 6322 20004021677 6023 20015142145 7699 20025022262 7652 20035321903 7655 20045752480 8748 SOURCE: Appendix A, Table A.3. single cask) but would have grown in volume to 8 times the annual generation of spent fuel in 2004. The rate of transporting this backlog will depend on future decisions concerning interim storage, longer at-reactor storage, cask technology, and reprocessing, but any backlog would add to the scheduling, logistical, and impact-related effects of the transport system. System Characteristics By the year 2004, there would be, in our reference system, 113 reactors shipping spent fuel, a combined truck/rail transportation system with average transport speeds of 6 mph for rail cars and 35 mph for trucks* *For the selection of rail and truck speeds, see pp. 77 and 78 below.
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56 (carrying 134 casks at any one time), and, at the reposi- tory, 1 rail and 3 truck handling bays in continuous operation accommodating a steady flow of spent fuel. The transportation system would pass through most of the states, whether they had operating nuclear power plants or not. The system would be required to have a high degree of reliability, under the probable close scrutiny of local officials and concerned public groups. Implications of differences in the design of an above- ground predisposal system, especially in the distribution of socioeconomic and institutional effects, have not been specifically addressed in previous analyses (such as the Generic Environmental Impact Statement, DOE's National Plan, DOE's National Siting Plan, or the Proposed General Guidelines for Recommendations of Sites for Nuclear Waste Repositories). We next examine several of the variant designs for our scenario of once-through spent-fuel management system handling discharges from 113 reactors. A SINGLE, CENTRALIZED REPOSITORY OR A REGIONAL SYSTEM? The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 calls for specific consideration of regional siting of nuclear waste reposi- tories, but most early site characterization, much of which predates this Act, has been concentrated in western states. The repository selection process will require consideration of many issues--the results of geologic characterization, the likelihood of finding more than one technically adequate site, the direct and indirect costs of the entire radioactive waste management system, and many of the socioeconomic issues addressed in this report. Here the panel viewed these options primarily from the point of view of the transportation system, recognizing that many subsurface technical and economic considera- tions must also enter into this choice. A possible waste management system would be one with a single repository located in the West. It is possible that the system will fail to develop beyond one single large repository. Alternatively it is possible that only western sites will be found for the first two reposi- tories. Such a system, with several repositories located in close proximity, would be essentially indistinguishable from the transportation-related effects of a single western site. The panel asked ORNL to use its model and planning assumptions to project the annual number of spent-fuel
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57 shipments in the year 2004 to repositories at a western site in southern Nevada, in South Carolina, and in southern Mississippi on the Gulf Coast (cf. DOE/EIS-0046F 1980). These repositories reflect no preference of the panel as to location; they are merely intended to illus- trate the range of differences associated with alternative locations. The flows of waste are shown in Figures 3.2, 3.3, and 3.4. Summary data on the characteristics of the single repository system are provided in Table 3.3 (see Appendix A for full data sets). ORNL was also asked to use its model for a system of regional repositories in the West, Midwest, and Southeast. _ . _ These locations were picked to minimize the aggregate distances between nuclear power plants and repository sites, and, again, reflect no preferences of the panel. Figure 3.5 illustrates the transportation corridors for truck-only shipments to regional repositories. The site of the repository could well affect the mix of rail and truck transport used. Because truck shipment is more cost-effective for short hauls than is rail ship- ment, the choice of regional repositories would tend to favor trucks, whereas a western repository would favor greater use of rail transport. Costs In capital cost, the largest element of the transportation system is in the casks themselves (estimated at $1 million for a truck cask and $5 million per rail cask, cf. DOE/EIS-0046F 1980, Chapter 7).* It is unlikely that the combined cost of all other facilities--loading and unload- ing cranes, road tractors, and rail cars--would be more than double the investment required for the shipping casks alone. Thus, the total capital cost for a spent-fuel *ORNL provided the panel with rough estimates of the annual costs in 1981 dollars and the number of casks required to ship spent fuel to a single (Tables 3.4 and 3.5) and to multiple repositories (Tables 3.6 and 3.7). Because these estimates depend on many untested assump- tions, they are primarily useful for gaining insight into differences in relative magnitude.
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73 become a source of public concern in communities along the waste funnel. Comparison of transport options for routing to a single destination is also instructive, for it reveals a significant reduction in routing complexity for the truck-only system. Significantly fewer routes would cross the states on the way to the center of the waste funnel, and the total number of locations where shipments would cross state borders also drops about 25-50 percent (Table 3.8). In a single repository system, nuclear-energy-related effects would be distributed well beyond those associated with power production. Attention should be given to whether the denser transport flows increase the vulner- ability of the repository system to public concern- related problems, labor strikes, disrupting weather, or highway shutdowns. Accidents of a radioactive and nonradioactive nature will happen in all the systems reviewed here and have the potential of eliciting considerable media attention. Here again, the transport mode will be relevant: a truck- dominated system would have the greater number of accidents and total fatalities, but rail accidents have the potential for greater loss of life and economic cost for a single event (Norton 1981).* Given the level of public concern, the movement of waste through communities could be a source of anxiety to local citizens and could lead to demands for greater local and state influence over nuclear waste transportation policy. In a regional repository system, the areas that would bear the burden of long-term waste isolation would be located closer to the plants that generate the waste. In this way, regional siting would build upon the approach currently being developed for the management of low-level waste. It would also reduce adverse social effects from transport through the substantial reduction in shipping - *McSweeney and Peterson (1984, p. 14) estimate that an all-truck transportation system would increase total transport-related fatalities by a factor of 5 but decrease latent cancer fatalities by a factor of 2. It is also important to note, for perspective, that the projected loss of life is approximately one per year, a minor fraction of the total lives lost per annum from truck accidents (over 2000 fatalities/year) and train accidents associated with the movement of freight (over 1000 fatalities/year).
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74 distances and the fewer states and communities involved in waste transport. These potential advantages need to be assessed at length and placed in a broader context. A regional system requires finding individual sites within different regions. This would more visibly demonstrate that all parts of the country would share in radioactive waste risks and burdens, thereby offering the opportunity to lessen social conflict. On the other hand, disputes could occur more frequently in the search for multiple sites as opposed to a single national facility. These trade-offs are highly uncertain and worthy of further investigation. The institutional effects of facility location and transport should be carefully appraised by DOE in formulating its Mission Plan. State and local regula- tory, monitoring, and emergency response capabilities and responsibilities, in particular, will need to be con- sidered (Church and Norton 1981, Norton 1981). The extent of these probable institutional impacts is difficult to discern. Railroads have a traditional legal history of independence from local and state regulation. Yet the duration of rail stops appears to have a large impact on both cost and risk (McSweeney and Peterson 1983) and could lead to substantial local concern at semiurban marshalling yards. A predominantly truck system would be less complex in its routing than a mixed-mode system, but the increased number of shipments could provoke more state and local monitoring. How adequately these different costs can be met by normal inspection and emergency plan- ning should be the subject of further analysis. Some states would be quite differently affected than others. New Hampshire, for example, recently disbanded the radiological division in its public health department as a cost-cutting measure, and the state might have diffi- culty resuming this activity. The Midwest would be con- fronted with greater monitoring and regulatory costs regardless of the transport mode used, given a western site (Windham 1981). In a decentralized, regional system, the number of states affected drops signifi- cantly, and those affected are already likely to have nuclear reactors. These states are already required to respond to emergencies at nuclear plants and have a head start putting in place appropriate plans and institutions. All states, of course, must deal with broader hazardous waste transport issues.
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75 Overall, the panel finds a number of socioeconomic and institutional effects associated with a single or central- ized repository system and the waste funnel such a system would create. Prominent among these effects would be greater regional inequity, higher shipping cost, and larger potential regulatory and emergency response burdens along the transport corridor. The panel considers regional equity, with its potential for co-location of costs, risks, and benefits (whatever they are and however they may be defined), as an important and possibly neces- sary ingredient in achieving social consensus on a nuclear waste management program. The number and location of facilities may affect levels of public concern. Finally, the transport corridor considerations affecting cost, socioeconomic effects, and institutional burdens have received relatively little attention and should be addressed more fully in the siting program. TEMPORARY STORAGE PRIOR TO PERMANENT ISOLATION Temporary storage and the possibility of reprocessing have not been explicitly considered in our assessment of facility location and transportation. One proposed radioactive waste strategy involves interim storage of spent fuel at away-from-reactor (AFR) facilities prior to permanent isolation. Handling of spent fuel in the AFR option would involve two major steps: first, transfer of spent fuel from reactors to one or more above-ground away-from-reactor storage facilities; second, transfer of spent fuel from both AFRs and reactors when repositories are able to accept shipments. Reprocessing could add further complexity. In the AFR case, temporary storage would relieve reactor operators of the need to expand existing pool storage capacity, ship to other fuel pools, r e-rack fuel to accommodate more fuel in existing pools, transfer to dry storage in on-site, air-cooled facilities, or, if none of these are possible, shut down the reactor. In the event that a waste repository were opened in the early 1990s and dry storage is not possible, some limited amount of spent fuel might be handled in a single, small AFR. This has been provided for in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982. With such a facility serving roughly 10 to 15 reactors, transportation requirements would be only moderately higher than in either the single or multiple repository systems. The AFR system could become substantial, however, if repositories could not
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76 receive fuel until the early twenty-first century or long-term on-site storage capacity is not developed or both. With several small regional AFRs, there would be fewer transportation requirements initially than for a single national repository, but once a repository (or more than one) opens, these rates will be significantly higher than in either of the direct reactor-repository transport systems. If fuel arrives at repositories more quickly than it can be loaded into the repository, at-repository above-ground storage capacity may be needed. If it is possible to defer the AFR decision through expanded on-site storage capacity until potential repository locations become clearer, transportation costs and risks might be reduced through co-location of interim storage and final disposal. Costs Costs involved in the interim storage option would probably be distributed quite differently from costs for alternatives involving direct shipment to either regional or national repositories. The capital costs of an AFR storage facility for a large number of reactors might well be less than for equivalent pool storage at the reactors (Ghovanlou et al. 1980), although this may not apply to dry-storage techniques, and these costs would be increased when unpacking of AFRs begins and the extra handling and transportation costs are added to those incurred for direct reactor-repository transport. Institutional Effects Temporary storage of spent fuel has the potential for both reducing or increasing institutional problems. Temporary storage of spent fuel prior to permanent isolation could add to long-term regulatory burdens on state governments because of increased transport levels in a reactor-AFR-repository system. It could, if located away from reactors, relieve utilities of procedural and logistical difficulties in expanding on-site storage capacity. At the same time it might also allow for additional time for planning and siting repositories. AFRs could prove quite difficult to site, just as any nuclear facility is, but also because of the probable
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77 need to ensure that they will not become de-facto permanent repositories. A further consideration involves the adequacy of financial resources needed for more complex spent-fuel management systems. DOE's National Plan estimates the cost of a fully operational radioactive waste system at $30 billion (1980-2000) in 1980 dollars; with different assumptions, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment has estimated these costs in the tens of billions of dollars. There is also the possibility that these costs may be significantly underestimated, and, in that context, there will be a temptation to postpone com- mitments of resources needed for a full-scale program. AFR storage could add to that uncertainty. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act provides little guidance to the DOE on criteria for accepting fuel into a federally operated AFR or for scheduling shipments from reactors and AFRs to permanent repositories. The logistical and institutional issues involved therein require careful attention and should be studied by DOE in its preparation of a Mission Plan. TRANSPORT MODE Earlier in this chapter it was noted that DOE planning assumed that as much as 90 percent of spent fuel would be moved by rail rather than truck (DOE/EIS-0046F 1980, Chapter 4.5). The panel, however, raises a number of questions concerning this assumption. Rail transport of spent fuel has several advantages over truck transport, orimarilv those associated with economies of scale. ~ ~ Current rail casks carry ten times as much spent fuel in a single car as a truck cask r and a new generation of truck and rail casks sized and designed for aged spent fuel will 1 ik-1 v Dr-~Pr"- Ph i c r"1 =~ i are advantage. ~~ ~~ ~ .d ~ ~ ~ ~ Handling costs for loading spent fuel at reactors and unloading at repositories (or AFRs) are sub- stantially less per kilogram for rail than for trucks. The physical economies of rail transport also mean fewer border crossings, less overall health and safety risk, and associated institutional burdens than would be true if the same fuel were shipped by truck. Other potential advantages of rail transport, however may not translate into financial savings. The economics of rail and truck shipment is very sensitive to average transport speed. For normal freight, average truck
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78 speeds favor truck over rail by a factor of nearly 6 (35 mph versus 6 mph, although hazardous cargo is carried more quickly by both). (For rail speeds, see Wilmot et al. 1983 and Anderson 1978.) These speeds are currently the basis for DOE planning and are Embedded in the ORNL model used for the logistical calculations given in this report. At the speeds given above, there is little difference in average shipping costs for rail and truck. Based on experience with hazardous cargo, expedited service can move freight as quickly as 12 mph. This would not reduce carrier costs but would cut cask-leasing costs. For shipments longer than 1000 miles, this might translate into a 30 percent savings for rail. Special trains are a further option, but because of their high cost would boost shipping costs beyond even transcon- tinental truck shipment.* State and local monitoring of shipments and develop- ment of emergency response capability are considerations for both rail and truck. The two modes require different oversight systems. Traditionally, state and local govern- ments have had little role in regulating rail shipments of any commodity, but one recent court found that the local community in that case had some jurisdiction over hazardous material routing. In that case, truck ship- ments were affected, but such jurisdiction could con- ceivably be extended to the rail system as well (Church and Norton 1981). Institutional difficulties associated with rail trans- port appear to be more formidable than those of truck transport (see Chapter 5). Command and control systems for hazardous material transport are developed, to some are developed, extent, for truck shipments, less so for rail. several trucking companies now offer spent-fuel transpor- tation service, and costs appear to be lower than those used in our calculations. Spent-fuel casks are also available for truck shipments. It is unclear how quickly they can be made available for rail service. In addition, the Association of American Railroads has informally Moreover, *One means for reducing this differential, however, would be to utilize a larger number of casks in a single ship- ment. For example, 10 casks in one train would reduce by 70 percent the unit cost associated with shipping a single cask by special train (private communication from Jon Cashwell, Transportation Technology Center, Sandia National Laboratories).
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79 indicated that its members would prefer not to handle spent-fuel shipments as normal or expedited freight. The primary concerns of the railroads, as described recently by Sandia Laboratories (Klassen 1982) are three: (1) as long as there are any conceivable accident situations that could lead to cask failure, the casks are not safe enough to be transported by ordinary trains; (2) in the event of an accident, the Price-Anderson Act and existing insurance might not provide an adequate amount of liability insurance protection; and (3) an accident might lead to a prolonged shutdown of all transport operations because of delay by nuclear regulatory authorities in reopening the track. The use of special trains might resolve their concerns, although at high cost. A recent Interstate Commerce Commission ruling, upheld by the courts, has disallowed railroad attempts to require special tariffs and status for spent-fuel and radioactive waste shipment, so railroads may lack the institutional capability to prevent such shipments. Nevertheless, the railroad industry lacks a strong financial incentive to become heavily involved in spent-fuel transportation, and, in the face of that, the extent to which an incen- tive to manufacture or use rail casks exists in the United States is unclear. In general, it appears to the panel that the lack of rail access to a number of reactors, unresolved institu- tional difficulties, and the reluctance of the railroad industry to transport spent fuel makes the achievement of DOE's 90 percent rail/10 percent truck planning hypothesis questionable. We have not found a basis for recommending a particular alternative mix, but the strong possibility of much greater truck transportation certainly exists, along with its particular set of risks and institutional impacts, and deserves further attention by DOE. FINDINGS In its identification of the socioeconomic and institu- tional issues associated with the deployment of a network of waste facilities and transport links, the panel made use of rough estimates of the scale and timing of spent fuel discharges from power reactors and of transport routing and costs. Only one level of potential nuclear power production, involving 113 reactor units, was examined. The estimates did not include the handling of wastes from military programs, nor did they include a
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80 system involving reprocessing of spent fuel. Further analysis is needed to consider how these aspects of a nuclear waste storage system increase the effects identified here. On the basis of its analysis, the panel concluded the following: 1. A substantial disparity exists between the amount of research effort expended on technical aspects of under- ground nuclear waste storage and the limited efforts expended on the above-ground design of the waste system. Specifically, the socioeconomic and institutional issues associated with facility location and transport modes, routes, distances, and scheduling require greater atten- tion than they have received to date. While the panel believes that the logistical and institutional challenges can be met, it finds substantial tasks ahead that merit attention in a formulation and implementation of a national radioactive waste management strategy. The panel also emphasizes that the kinds of problems involved are not readily amenable to technical solutions; they must be considered in the overall system design and in institutional policies that include socioeconomic as well as technical criteria. 2. The socioeconomic and institutional effects associated with the network of nuclear waste facilities and transportation are quite sensitive to the number and location of repositories. These effects, as suggested by the panel's analysis, include transport-system complexity, shipping costs, public concern and conflict, vulnerability to possible transport-system bottlenecks, and institu- tional burdens on states and localities. One problem-- interregional inequity--viewed as particularly important by the panel, could be minimized through regional siting. The relationships between these factors and effects have received only limited research attention and require fur- ther explicit analysis. They will also need to be weighed against geologic criteria and overall waste management system costs. 3. The socioeconomic effects of establishing temporary away-from-reactor facilities for interim storage depend on specific assumptions and scenarios chosen and are at present not well understood. Whether such storage facil- ities are co-located with repositories, located at reactors, or located away from both repositories and reactors appears to affect significantly total system transport costs, regulatory and emergency response
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81 burdens on state and local governments, and public concern along transport routes. At-reactor storage, in particu- lar, may have potential for reducing these effects. At the same time, the panel recognizes the potential use- fulness of the limited away-from-reactor storage provided for in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982. 4. Current DOE plans assume that the transportation of waste will be primarily by rail. The panel has iden- tified a variety of obstacles to a predominantly rail transportation system. The rail industry appears to have few economic incentives and a stated reluctance to take on radioactive waste transport. Rail also does not appear to have a decisive economic advantage over truck trans- port, and the rail system is less responsive to possible demands for routing changes. These obstacles should receive further review from DOE. If these problems lead to greater use of truck transport, differing socioeconomic and institutional effects will need to be anticipated. REFERENCES FOR CHAPTER 3 Anderson, R. T. 1978. Studies and Research Concerning BNFP Light Water Reactor Spent Fuel Transportation Systems. Prepared for the Department of Energy. Barnwell, So. Carolina: Allied-General Nuclear Services. Andrews, W. B. 1980. An Assessment of the Risk of Transporting Liquid Chlorine by Rail. PNL-3376. Richland, Wash.: Pacific Northwest Laboratory, March. Behnke, W. D. 1980. Speech given at the McGraw-Hill Conference on Nuclear Commerce in the '80's, St. Charles, Illinois, April 28. Church, A. M., and R. D. Norton. 1981. Issues in emergency preparedness for radiological transportation accidents. Natural Resources Journal 21:757-772. Diedrich, R. 1983. Estimates of Future U.S. Nuclear Power Growth. Pre-publication draft. Washington, D.C.: U S. Department of Energy. Geffen, C. A. 1980. An Assessment of the Risk of Transporting Propane by Truck and Train. PNL-3308. Richland, Wash.: Pacific Northwest Laboratory, March. Ghovanlou, A., L. Ettlinger, A. De Agazio, and N. Lord. 1980. Analysis of Nuclear Waste Disposal Technologies and Strategies for Technology Deployment. Draft. McLean, Va.: Mitre Corporation, April.
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82 Kasperson, R. E., ed. 1983. Equity Issues in Radioactive Waste Management. Cambridge, Mass e OGH Publishers. Kirby, K. D., W. J. Elgin, W. Mitchell III, S. E. Turner. 1979. Evaluation of the regional repository concept for nuclear waste disposal. Pp. 183-186 ih Proceedings of the National Waste Terminal Storage Program Information Meeting. ONWI-62. Columbus, Ohio: Battelle Memorial Institute. Klassen, D. 1982. Transportation of Radioactive Material by Rail: Special Train Issue. Sandia Report SAND-81-1447. TIC-0226. Albuquerque, N. Mex.: Sandia National Laboratories. McSweeney, T. I., and R. W. Peterson. 1984. Assessing the Estimated Cost and Risk of Nuclear Waste Transportation to Potential Commercial Nuclear Repository Sites. Paper #IAEA-CN-43/243 Presented at IAEA International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management, Seattle, Wash., May 16-20, 1983. To be published in Proceedings of that Conference (in preparation). Norton, R. D. 1981. Policy issues in the routing of radioactive materials shipments. Natural Resources Journal 21:735-756. Rhoads, R. 1978. An Assessment of the Risk of Transporting Gasoline by Truck. PNL-2133. Richland, Wash.: Pacific Northwest Laboratory, November. U.S. Department of Energy. 1979. Technology for Commercial Radioactive Waste Management. DOE/ET-0028, Vol. 1. Washington, D.C. Wilmot, E. L., M. M. Madsen, J. W. Cashwell, D. S. Joy. 1983. Preliminary Analysis of the Cost and Risk of Transporting Nuclear Wastes to Potential Candidate Commercial Sites. Sandia Report SAND-83-0867. Albuquerque, N. Mex.: Sandia National Laboratories, June. Windham, P. 1981. State government views on the transportation of nuclear spent fuel and associated institutional impacts. Draft. Prepared for the Panel on Social and Economic Aspects of Radioactive Waste Management, Board on Radioactive Waste Management, National Research Council. Washington, D.C.
Representative terms from entire chapter: