PREDICTING ROUTES OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES MOVED ON THE US RAILROAD SYSTEM

One of the issues to be considered in the analysis of alternative repository sites for nuclear wastes is the pattern of shipments from reactors and other waste sources to the repository. In the United States, regulations and costs make rail shipments the preferred mode for high-level radioactive waste. The railroad network of the United States is owned by approximately 100 corporations that simultaneously compete for traffic and cooperate to move shipments that require carriage by more than one company. Because changing companies usually delays a shipment, there is a tendency to minimize the number of carriers involved in moving it. Moreover, when several carriers are required, the originating company (specified by the shipper) tends to retain the shipment on its portion of the network. These characteristics are nearly unique among the world's rail systems, and they must be recognized in any model of paths of future shipments through the network. This paper describes the development of a rail routing program that can be applied to the movement of radioactive materials throughout the United States. Shipments can be initiated at a specific location on a specific railroad. A route can be generated and displayed on a map of the United States. The particular route generated depends upon the emphasis placed on various classes of rail lines. Demonstration routings illustrate predicted routes of normal freight shipments, the effect of blocking passage through selected cities, and the effect that the existence of independent railroad companies can have on the patterns of shipments.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    P. O. Box 2008
    Oak Ridge, TN  USA  37831
  • Authors:
    • Hillsman, E L
    • JOHNSON, P E
    • Peterson, B E
  • Publication Date: 1980

Media Info

  • Pagination: 10 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00330644
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Energy Research Abstracts
  • Contract Numbers: W-7405-ENG-26
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 21 1981 12:00AM