Site Specific Analyses of a Spent Nuclear Fuel Transportation Accident

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Description

The number of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) shipments is expected to increase significantly during the time period that the United States' inventory of SNF is sent to a final disposal site. Prior work estimated that the highest accident risks of a SNF shipping campaign to the proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain were in the corridor states, such as Illinois. The largest potential human health impacts would be expected to occur in areas with high population densities such as urban settings. Thus, our current study examined the human health impacts from the most plausible severe SNF transportation accidents in the ... continued below

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12 pages

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Biwer, B. M. & Chen, S. Y. February 24, 2003.

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Description

The number of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) shipments is expected to increase significantly during the time period that the United States' inventory of SNF is sent to a final disposal site. Prior work estimated that the highest accident risks of a SNF shipping campaign to the proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain were in the corridor states, such as Illinois. The largest potential human health impacts would be expected to occur in areas with high population densities such as urban settings. Thus, our current study examined the human health impacts from the most plausible severe SNF transportation accidents in the Chicago metropolitan area. The RISKIND 2.0 program was used to model site-specific data for an area where the largest impacts might occur. The results have shown that the radiological human health consequences of a severe SNF rail transportation accident on average might be similar to one year of exposure to natural background radiation for those persons living a nd working in the most affected areas downwind of the actual accident location. For maximally exposed individuals, an exposure similar to about two years of exposure to natural background radiation was estimated. In addition to the accident probabilities being very low (approximately 1 chance in 10,000 or less during the entire shipping campaign), the actual human health impacts are expected to be lower if any of the accidents considered did occur, because the results are dependent on the specific location and weather conditions, such as wind speed and direction, that were selected to maximize the results. Also, comparison of the results of longer duration accident scenarios against U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines was made to demonstrate the usefulness of this site-specific analysis for emergency planning purposes.

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12 pages

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  • Waste Management 2003 Symposium, Tucson, AZ (US), 02/23/2003--02/27/2003

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: W-31-109-Eng-38
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 826259
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc785129

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  • February 24, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 27, 2016, 2:05 p.m.

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Biwer, B. M. & Chen, S. Y. Site Specific Analyses of a Spent Nuclear Fuel Transportation Accident, article, February 24, 2003; Tucson, Arizona. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc785129/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.