GOVERNMENT'S DUTY, AS SHIPPER AND REGULATOR, TO KEEP SPENT FUEL AND WASTE ON TRACK: THE ICC CASES

The transportation of radioactive materials, particularly spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, is at once the most studied and the most misunderstood category of hazardous materials transportation. During recent years, agencies of the United States Government have expended substantial effort and money not only studying many aspects of nuclear materials transportation but also litigating the safety and economics of such transportation. The movement of such materials has been attacked, not only by some state and local organizations, but also, by senior members of the transportation industry - the nation's railroads. This paper will discuss the government's role in the litigation which has developed between the railroad industry on one side and the government and the nuclear industry on the other. For more than two years, the Department of Energy has joined with representatives of other government agencies and the nuclear industry in an effort to preserve the viability of rail transportation of radioactive materials under reasonable common carrier tariffs. The southern and western railroads had restricted such transportation by requiring spent fuel and radioactive waste to move only in special trains. The eastern railroads and some midwestern roads had refused any common carriage for these commodities. Because tariff rates or the absence of such rates sparked this controversy, the United States Interstate Commerce Commission became the tribunal to hear these cases in the first instance. The issues heard included the adequacy of current safety requirements including packaging, testing and insurance. By the end of 1977, the ICC had issued initial decisions striking down the restrictive tariffs and ordering publication of tariffs where none existed. The litigation, however, will not be finally concluded for some time.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • From 5, symposium on packaging and transportation of radioactive materials; Las Vegas, Nevada, May 7, 1978. CONF-780506-(VOL. 1).
  • Corporate Authors:

    Department of Energy

    1000 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20585
  • Authors:
    • DiStefano, J
  • Publication Date: 1978

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00322953
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Energy Research Abstracts
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 30 1980 12:00AM