Lawmakers Want Fee for Radioactive Shipments
The federal Department of Energy recommended in 2002 that U.S. nuclear power plants deposit their radioactive waste under Nevada's Yucca Mountain, far from population centers.
The energy department said that would help protect such waste from terrorists.
So, as nuclear waste travels west, Missouri lawmakers said they want to protect residents.
"We're going to have some obligation to see some of it come across our state," said Republican Sen. Michael Gibbons of Kirkwood. "I just don't think we should be the radioactive waste pipeline for the rest of the country."
Carla Klein of the Sierra Club added, "All of our surrounding states do charge for transportation through their state. And we feel the passage of this legislation will make Missouri less likely to be their chosen route."
States north and east of Missouri have already set transportation fees for radioactive waste.
The Department of Energy determined shipments from nuclear plants northeast, east and southeast of Yucca Mountain will likely use I-70 or I-80.
And, of 200,000 shipments, the DOE estimated 20,000 will pass through Missouri.
Smaller shipments already travel on I-70, but the federal proposal would dramatically increase those numbers.
However, the state of Nevada is challenging the Yucca Mountain plan. Sen. Harry Reid described a truck carrying waste to the site as "a dirty nuclear bomb on 18 wheels waiting to happen."