After September 11, 2001: Risk Perception and Risk Assessment of American Indian Pueblos and Tribes of New Mexico on the Impacts of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Its Transuranic Nuclear Waste Transportation Routes

A survey of environmental representatives of all American Indian pueblos and reservations in the State of New Mexico (n = 23) is presented to determine the perception of impacts and risks associated with the transportation routes of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the world’s deepest and largest transuranic nuclear waste repository, located in southeastern New Mexico. A separate risk assessment, based on vehicular accidents and fatalities, is also performed. We demonstrate that the societal risks on the roads of New Mexico American Indian pueblos and reservations are significantly and historically higher than on New Mexico and national roads. Although the United States Department of Energy, the owner and operator of the WIPP, and, ultimately, Yucca Mountain, the proposed high-level waste nuclear repository in Nevada, has taken substantial steps to implement emergency preparedness programs with respect to nuclear waste transport, our findings suggest that many key issues remain unresolved after September 11, 2001. Both national and international nuclear waste repository programs, wherever subsurface storage or burial of hazardous wastes are planned or implemented, stand to be effected by these outcomes. Therefore, as long as radioactive waste transportation continues to the WIPP, we suggest that further safety measures and risk controls are implemented on the roads of New Mexico and its American Indian pueblos and reservations. Suggestions for further risk assessment research efforts are also discussed.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 33p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 86th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01046880
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-3268
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 7:58PM