Community members in Asheville are concerned about upcoming shipments of liquid uranium being moved through Western North Carolina. WLOS ABC News Channel 13 just reported on the failed efforts to keep the radioactive materials from traveling through the area. The Department of Energy is getting ready have up to 150 shipments of liquid uranium brought from Canada down to a storage facility in Aiken, South Carolina. Trucking routes will reportedly go through Asheville or Charlotte. These shipments could begin as early as February 17, 2017. Due to security concerns, very little information about the exact dates and routes has been released.
Environmental Impact and Safety in Asheville
Although uranium, in a solid state, has been safely shipped and transported by commercial trucking vehicles, many people are concerned about the increased level of danger posed by transporting a liquid form of the material. In the event of a wreck, collision, explosion or spill, the impacts to the environment and population could be substantially more dangerous, and even deadly. According to Buncombe County’s Emergency Services Director, Jerry Vehaun, although his teams are trained to respond to hazardous materials accidents, they’re not prepared for or trained to deal with or handle liquid uranium. Furthermore, he has not been made aware of any main or alternate routes for the upcoming shipments.
Increased Regulations for Radioactive and Hazardous Materials
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S. NRC) reports that thousands of shipments of spent nuclear fuel have been transported across the country without major problems over the past four decades. Not only do these truckers have to comply with all federal commercial trucking safety regulations, they have to follow additional guidelines from the U.S. NRC that involve approved routes, prior arrangements with law enforcement agencies, and in some cases, armed escorts to ensure cargo gets to its destination safely and securely.
Truck Accidents in Asheville
Whether there are hazardous materials onboard or not, any accident involving a big rig can be devastating for motorists in smaller passenger occupant vehicles. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in an accident involving a big rig, semi truck, 18-wheeler or commercial trucking vehicle in or around the Asheville area, contact the skilled and proven team at Davis Law Group, P.A. at 866-397-2897 for a free case consultation.