News 12 at 6 o'clock, October 5, 2007
EVANS, Ga. - You may not be aware that low level nuclear waste has been leaving Savannah River Site for years traveling along I-20. It's being taken to an underground cavern in New Mexico for more processing and storage. More than 800 shipments in all.
Now, SRS is preparing its first shipment of this low level waste that's being loaded by remote control. There's also a new design for the radioactive transport trucks.
"This is actually one of the safest transports on the road and that's because of the way it's built and the way it's designed," says Pam Tucker of Columbia County Emergency Management Agency.
The trucks are 70 feet long and can carry more than 70,000 pounds of radioactive material. A 25-inch buffer of steel around the top and bottom of the container ensures that if it falls off the truck, it won't spill.
"We've never had an incident. These shipments have been going on with the other WIPP shipments for years now--never had a single incident," says Tucker.
Tucker says if something were to happen on the road police officers, firefighters and other first reposnders would know what to do. But they need your help to keep these trucks accident-free.
"We want people to really respect these vehicles and don't cut them off. Let them go down the highway safely," says Tucker, "they can't stop on a dime."