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.