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Potential Effects of Recent Road Transportation Accidents on Radioactive Material Shipments

[+] Author Affiliations
Christopher S. Bajwa, Earl P. Easton, Robert E. Shewmaker

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Rockville, MD

Darrell S. Dunn

Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX

Paper No. PVP2008-61568, pp. 263-270; 8 pages
  • ASME 2008 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 7: Operations, Applications and Components
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, July 27–31, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4830-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3828-5
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME and U.S. Government


In 2007, two severe transportation accidents, involving primarily long-haul tractor trailers, occurred in the State of California. In the first, which occurred in Oakland in the “MacArthur Maze” section of Interstate 580, a tractor trailer carrying gasoline impacted an overpass support column and burst into flames. The subsequent fire, which burned for over 2 hours, led to the collapse of the overpass onto the remains of the tractor trailer, due to the loss of strength in the steel exposed to the fire. The second incident was a chain-reaction accident involving several tractor trailers in the I-5 “Newhall Pass” truck bypass tunnel in Santa Clarita. This accident also involved an intense fire that damaged the tunnel and required the closing of the tunnel for repairs to the concrete walls. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is studying both these accidents to examine any potential regulatory implications related to the safe transport of radioactive materials and spent nuclear fuel in the United States. This paper will provide a summary of that effort.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME and U.S. Government



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