A 5.8-magnitude earthquake centered near Lone Pine, California, recently prompted urgent notifications from the EM Nevada Program to waste generators shipping classified and low-level, and mixed low-level radioactive waste to the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS).
That rapid reaction to ever-changing regional road conditions is a routine occurrence that demonstrates the EM Nevada Program’s commitment to the safe transportation of waste for the protection of people, workers and the environment.
Following the earthquake, Lee Stevens, a transportation expert with Navarro Research and Engineering, the lead environmental program services contractor for EM Nevada, immediately relayed key information concerning regional road closures and conditions to waste generators with shipments en route to the NNSS. His quick thinking and proactive communication helped ensure the safety of drivers and their loads, minimized rerouting or shipping delays, and facilitated continuous situational awareness for U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) staff supporting NNSS waste management operations.
“EM Nevada is doing great work to keep waste generators across the DOE complex aware of road and weather conditions on routes to the NNSS,” EM Nevada Program Manager Rob Boehlecke said. “Lee’s rapid response on June 24 not only helped to ensure the safety of drivers and their cargo, but also demonstrated that EM Nevada is ready, willing, and able to respond decisively to a more significant event if the need arises. I thank Lee and all of our transportation partners for their continued commitment to collaborative communication.”
EM Nevada uses the NNSS-based Hazardous Materials Notification System (HAZTRAK) to monitor and manage such shipments. Applicable information from HAZTRAK is also accessible to intergovernmental partners and the general public on the NNSS website here.
EM Nevada also recently worked with personnel from the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) to publish guidance that ensures NDOT route approvals are consistent with agreements between DOE and Nevada stakeholders.
Since 1999, more than 31,000 radioactive and classified waste shipments have been safely transported to the NNSS. To learn more, click here for the EM Nevada waste transportation fact sheet.