The regional Haz-Mat team really isn't concerned. They say it's nothing new. Radioactive material has been on the Valley's interstates for more than 20 years.
Nuclear waste may be zipping along beside you, under a new plan it could travel east to west on Interstate 64, but, a local Haz-Mat team member says you have nothing to worry about.
"They are kept in extremely secure vaults or casks and we've got every confidence in the way those are transported," Deputy Chief Nick Astarb.
Representative Bob Goodlatte gives it a green light.
"It's absolutely essential that we do not have these large stockpiles of nuclear waste in various places around Virginia and it is an ongoing risk that some terrorist will be able to steal it," Representative Bob Goodlatte says.
Goodlatte and local Haz-Mat teams, training includes both classroom and hands on work...if there was an emergency, time, distance and shielding are the most important things the team can do.
"Our mode is first response to get there and stop the harm and secure the scene and then we'll let the professionals deal with the emergency and support them in that role," Astarb says.
Astarb says things like gasoline, pesticides and incorrectly labeled packages are bigger problems.
"Just by the sheer numbers and different types of materials that go up and down the interstate the radiological portion concerns us, but there are other hazardous materials out there that concern us more," Astarb says.
That's because when the material is transported, it'll be escorted and heavily armed, plus local authorities may be notified when it's in the area...so you're not at risk.
Nothing's set in stone yet. There's been talk of using railroads instead of the interstates that would take it completely away from the Valley.
The Senate still needs to pass the bill.
whsv.com Extended Web Coverage
What Are Radioactive Wastes?
Source: http://www.sierraclub.org/nuclearwaste/nucw.asp (Sierra Club).