flips trailer hauling nuke waste
Associated Press, March 29, 2002
ARLINGTON, Wyo. (AP) A tractor-trailer hauling radioactive material
over on Interstate 80 early Thursday, according to Wyoming Department
of Transportation officials.
No radioactivity was released and no one was injured in the accident,
which happened around 7 a.m. about 35 miles west of Laramie, officials
WyDOT spokesman Bruce Burrows said the truck was carrying radioactive
liquid in two one-liter padded containers. The containers were the only
items inside the trailer.
Winds gusting up to 80 mph were recorded in the area when the trailer
flipped on its side at the Cooper Cove Road interchange.
At least six wind-related crashes were reported Thursday morning on
Interstates 80 and 25. Just north of Wheatland, an accident involving
pickup pulling a trailer closed I-25 for about 45 minutes.
Westbound traffic was diverted on the interchange ramps around the
wreck until the tractor-trailer was righted and towed back to Laramie
around 10:30 a.m. Eastbound traffic was unaffected.
The material remained on board the truck owned by Triad Transport Inc.,
The material was headed to the Idaho National Engineering and
Environmental Laboratory near Idaho Falls, Idaho, from a Cold War-era
plutonium processing facility in Ohio, officials said.
The 1,050-acre former nuclear weapons plant, known as the Fernald site,
located about 18 miles northwest of Cincinnati.
Glenn Griffiths, deputy director of the Fernald office, said the bottles
contained a liquid solution of plutonium and neptunium.
Although the solution is radioactive, it is not waste and it is
activity from a nuclear perspective, he said.
If the solution had spilled, at these quantities, it would have
a very low risk.
The material is used to calibrate instruments and help analyze samples
that might contain radioactive materials, he said.