Nuclear waste shipments through Chattanooga expected to increase

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Department of Energy officials say shipments of nuclear waste through Chattanooga will increase as leftover material from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is moved to a storage site in New Mexico.

DOE spokesman Walter Perry says 66 to 70 truckloads of transuranic waste will be shipped annually through Chattanooga to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico.

He says this is in addition to shipments of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel rods that have been trucked through Chattanooga since 1996.

Don Hancock is a nuclear waste expert who has studied the Carlsbad plant since planning for it began 30 years ago. He says the nuclear waste is dangerous and could be more high risk than the U.S. government classifies it to be.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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