Group: Nuclear waste could be trucked from Illinois to Port Huron via Times Herald

A coalition of environmental groups claims a letter from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission indicates that nuclear waste from power plants in Illinois will be trucked to Port Huron and shipped from there to an unknown destination.

“A spill, release or fire here or near waterways that flow into the St. Clair River could potentially ruin one of the largest fresh water deltas in the world – the St. Clair Flats – and potentially poison forever drinking water and freshwater ecosystems for up to 40-plus million people of the Great Lakes, including residents of Canada, the U.S., U.S. Tribes, First Nations and other indigenous peoples,” said Kay Cumbow of the Great Lakes Environmental Alliance in Port Huron, in a news release.

According to the news release from Don’t Waste Michigan, Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes, a letter dated July 13, from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to “Secured Transportation Services,” cites an application under 45-day review by the NRC for a highway transport route for high level radioactive waste from the LaSalle nuclear reactors in Illinois to the “Port Huron, Michigan Port of Exit.”


The letter only refers to shipping from central Illinois to Port Huron by a land route, according to the news release. It does not show where or how the waste would move from the city.

In a follow-up interview, Cumbow said the groups have more questions than answers about possible spent fuel shipments coming to Port Huron from Illinois.


She said the waste is highly radioactive.

“It’s lethal when you are exposed to it,” Cumbow said. “Shielded, you’re fine. Any accident with this stuff, if there was a serious incident with this stuff, there is a likelihood people will be killed.

“The other thing is we don’t know what’s approved in Canada,” she said. “We don’t know where it is going. It might be going to Canada or it might be going through Canada to somewhere else.”

She said safety issues posed by the state’s crumbling road and bridge infrastructure are other concerns.

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