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4/14/2008



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB to take its time to review proposed Yucca Mountain line in Nevada


The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has adopted a longer-than-usual procedural schedule to review the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) application seeking authority to build and operate a nuclear waste-hauling rail line in Nevada.

The 300-mile Caliente Line would connect an existing Union Pacific Railroad line near Caliente to a proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. The DOE would use the proposed line to transport spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste to the geologic repository, where the materials would be disposed. The DOE also would provide common-carrier rail service to communities along the line.

"Because the DOE application is extensive and replies to it may be numerous, the board finds that the standard construction application timetable is inappropriate," the STB said in a procedural schedule announcement released Friday. "Accordingly, the board has established a longer schedule that will provide all parties ample time and opportunity for the submission of comments."

The STB will accept notices of intent to participate in the proceeding until May 7 and comments on the application until July 15. The DOE's reply is due Aug. 29.


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