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Keeping Nuclear Transportation Safe

Over the past 40 years, more than 3,000 shipments of used nuclear fuel have navigated more than 1.7 million miles of U.S. roads and railways. Through all this travel, no radioactive materials have been released resulting from an accident. The nuclear industry's transportation safety record would be difficult for other industries to match.

Each year, between two and five million shipments of radioactive material - mostly radioisotopes for medical and industrial use -- are transported in the U.S. The nuclear industry embraces basic safety measures that ensure the sustainability of this safety record.

Casks used for shipping spent nuclear fuel are rigorously designed in accordance with Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Transportation regulations. The casks (which are about 15 times thicker than a gasoline tank truck shell, including three inches of stainless steel and thick radiation shields) are built to withstand severe crashes, fire, water immersion and puncture.

Also, public transport routes must meet strict safety requirements before nuclear material is permitted access.

To learn more about the transportation of nuclear material, please go to the following links. Or contact the ANS Outreach Department at 708-352-6611.

Last updated June 5, 2012, 2:16pm CDT.

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