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e-CFR data is current as of August 11, 2020

Title 10Chapter IPart 51Subpart A → §51.52

Title 10: Energy
Subpart A—National Environmental Policy Act—Regulations Implementing Section 102(2)

§51.52   Environmental effects of transportation of fuel and waste—Table S-4.

Under §51.50, every environmental report prepared for the construction permit stage or early site permit stage or combined license stage of a light-water-cooled nuclear power reactor, and submitted after February 4, 1975, shall contain a statement concerning transportation of fuel and radioactive wastes to and from the reactor. That statement shall indicate that the reactor and this transportation either meet all of the conditions in paragraph (a) of this section or all of the conditions of paragraph (b) of this section.

(a)(1) The reactor has a core thermal power level not exceeding 3,800 megawatts;

(2) The reactor fuel is in the form of sintered uranium dioxide pellets having a uranium-235 enrichment not exceeding 4% by weight, and the pellets are encapsulated in zircaloy rods;

(3) The average level of irradiation of the irradiated fuel from the reactor does not exceed 33,000 megawatt-days per metric ton, and no irradiated fuel assembly is shipped until at least 90 days after it is discharged from the reactor;

(4) With the exception of irradiated fuel, all radioactive waste shipped from the reactor is packaged and in a solid form;

(5) Unirradiated fuel is shipped to the reactor by truck; irradiated fuel is shipped from the reactor by truck, rail, or barge; and radioactive waste other than irradiated fuel is shipped from the reactor by truck or rail; and

(6) The environmental impacts of transportation of fuel and waste to and from the reactor, with respect to normal conditions of transport and possible accidents in transport, are as set forth in Summary Table S-4 in paragraph (c) of this section; and the values in the table represent the contribution of the transportation to the environmental costs of licensing the reactor.

(b) For reactors not meeting the conditions of paragraph (a) of this section, the statement shall contain a full description and detailed analysis of the environmental effects of transportation of fuel and wastes to and from the reactor, including values for the environmental impact under normal conditions of transport and for the environmental risk from accidents in transport. The statement shall indicate that the values determined by the analysis represent the contribution of such effects to the environmental costs of licensing the reactor.


Summary Table S-4—Environmental Impact of Transportation of Fuel and Waste to and From One Light-Water-Cooled Nuclear Power Reactor1

Normal Conditions of Transport

   Environmental impact
Heat (per irradiated fuel cask in transit)250,000 Btu/hr.
Weight (governed by Federal or State restrictions)73,000 lbs. per truck; 100 tons per cask per rail car.
Traffic density:
TruckLess than 1 per day.
RailLess than 3 per month
Exposed population Estimated number of persons exposed Range of doses to exposed individuals2(per reactor year) Cumulative dose to exposed population (per reactor year)3
Transportation workers2000.01 to 300 millirem4 man-rem.
General public:
Onlookers1,1000.003 to 1.3 millirem3 man-rem.
Along Route600,0000.0001 to 0.06 millirem   

Accidents in Transport

   Environmental risk
Radiological effectsSmall4
Common (nonradiological) causes1 fatal injury in 100 reactor years; 1 nonfatal injury in 10 reactor years; $475 property damage per reactor year.

1Data supporting this table are given in the Commission's “Environmental Survey of Transportation of Radioactive Materials to and from Nuclear Power Plants,” WASH-1238, December 1972; and Supp. 1 of NUREG-75/038, April 1975. Both documents are available for inspection and copying at the Commission's Public Document Room, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852 and may be obtained from National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161. The WASH-1238 is available from NTIS at a cost of $5.45 (microfiche, $2.25) and NUREG-75/038 is available at a cost of $3.25 (microfiche, $2.25).

2The Federal Radiation Council has recommended that the radiation doses from all sources of radiation other than natural background and medical exposures should be limited to 5,000 millirem per year for individuals as a result of occupational exposure and should be limited to 500 millirem per year for individuals in the general population. The dose to individuals due to average natural background radiation is about 130 millirem per year.

3Man-rem is an expression for the summation of whole body doses to individuals in a group. Thus, if each member of a population group of 1,000 people were to receive a dose of 0.001 rem (1 millirem), or if 2 people were to receive a dose of 0.5 rem (500 millirem) each, the total man-rem dose in each case would be 1 man-rem.

4Athough the environmental risk of radiological effects stemming from transportation accidents is currently incapable of being numerically quantified, the risk remains small regardless of whether it is being appiled to a single reactor or a multireactor site.

[49 FR 9381, Mar. 12, 1984; 49 FR 10922, Mar. 23, 1984, as amended at 53 FR 43420, Oct. 27, 1988; 72 FR 49512, Aug. 28, 2007; 79 FR 66604, Nov. 10, 2014]

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