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The characterization of Yucca Mountain as a potential site for the first high-level nuclear repository is opposed by the State of Nevada. Responses to surveys conducted by the State of Nevada (most recently 2006) suggest that roughly 70 percent of Nevada residents would vote against a repository if they actually had a chance to vote. The State survey results primarily reflect the opinions of Clark County residents as few surveys were taken outside the area.
The State survey was intended to represent the views of the State in general, but provides little or no insight about the opinions and beliefs held by Churchill County residents with respect to the repository program. In 2009 Churchill County began an effort to track public opinion. Since that time, Churchill County has compiled 8 years of survey data and responses from a random sample of registered voters.As part of its impact assessment and oversight program, Churchill County initiated a community survey to gage opinion about the Yucca Mountain Project and nuclear power. Survey questions were directly related to the Yucca Mountain project and more generally related to licensing a repository and benefits for the State.
Churchill County High School students >selected 235 primary and secondary teachers, community college instructors, and local government officials to ascertain their views and knowledge of the repository program. This year the Churchill County survey focused on issues that have been the subject of national survey efforts related to Yucca Mountain. Churchill County reviewed several national survey efforts and selected questions relevant to Yucca Mountain. Churchill County High School Students completed survey questions by phone and face to face interviews.The 2015-2016 survey questions can be found in Appendix A. Questions #1 and #2 focused on support for the Yucca Mountain project. According to survey results, support for the project increases as the licensing review continues and NRC releases findings about the site. Survey questions #3, #4 and #5 were used to gage the level of support for nuclear power as a baseload energy source. The lack of greenhouse gas emissions appear to influence acceptability of nuclear power as a clean energy source. Respondents tend to be even more supportive of the Yucca Mountain project when the project is tied to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and clean energy.
2015 Updated Baseline report - This report provides a baseline description of existing conditions in Churchill County as of 2015. The report provides information on social, economic, public services and facilities, and natural resources available in Churchill County and its communities. The report will be used to measure potential changes to Churchill County as a result of the high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain and associated trans-portation activities. Additionally, material presented in the following chapters repre-sents a compilation of previous investigations by Churchill County for Yucca Moun-tain oversight activities such as the Churchill County Rail Impact Evaluation, 2007.
August 2013 - Baseline 2013 Update
Community Survey Results - 2013 - 2014 update.
Community Survey Results - 2012 - 2013 Update. As part of its impact assessment and oversight program, Churchill County initiated a community survey to gage opinion about the Yucca Mountain Project and nuclear power. Survey questions were directly related to the Yucca Mountain project and more generally related to nuclear energy, and transportation of nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain.
December 2011 - Baseline update2011 The Churchill County Nuclear Waste oversight program has updated the baseline report for 2011. This report provides baseline description of existing conditions in Churchill County as of 2011. The report provides information on social, economic, public services and facilities, and natural resources available in Churchill County and its communities. The report will be used to measure potential changes to Churchill County as a result of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain and associated transportation activities.
September 2010 - YUCCA MOUNTAIN: NUCLEAR FUEL LOCATONS AND ASSOCIATED RAIL FACILITIES (large file 14 MB- The Union Pacific Railroad main line passes through Churchill County on a route between Reno and Salt
Lake City. The main line is a single track and is maintained in strict accordance with Federal Railroad
Administration (FRA) guidelines. The FRA has established guidelines and standards which set the
requirements for maintenance based on track speed. This section of main line track is maintained to FRA
standards allowing 79 miles per hour for passenger trains and 60 miles per hour for freight trains. Track
vertical grades are typically less than one percent along the route through Churchill County due to the
flatness of the topography. The railroad’s right-of-way width is typically 100 feet with some sections that
may have a 200 foot width. No public agency or private access in the right-of-way or across the tracks is
allowed without written permission from the railroad. Since the mid-1990s, Union Pacific has been required
by the Surface Transportation Board to allow Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company trackage
rights over this segment of the UP main line. This was a condition of approval for allowing UP to purchase
the former Southern Pacific Railroad. This condition of purchase provided for the continuation of
competition within this corridor. There are a number of existing sidings along the main line. The sidings are
used by the railroad to allow space for trains to meet and pass and also allow for temporary and periodic rail
July 2010 - Churchill County Baseline Report update 2010 - The Churchill County Nuclear Waste oversight program has updated the baseline report for 2010. This report provides baseline description of existing conditions in Churchill County as of 2010. The report provides information on social, economic, public services and facilities, and natural resources available in Churchill County and its communities. The report will be used to measure potential changes to Churchill County as a result of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain and associated transportation activities. Additionally, material presented in the chapters represents a compilation of previous investigations by Churchill County for Yucca Mountain oversight activities such as the Transportation Baseline Report. The baseline report contains information about population, labor force, employment, wages, fiscal conditions, natural resources, and land uses. The Yucca Mountain draft and final environmental impact statement contained very little information about Churchill County. This report will help supplement the lack of information developed by DOE. The baseline report will be updated periodically as part of Churchill County’s on-going efforts to assess potential impacts associated with the Yucca Mountain Project.
December 2009- Churchill County Baseline Report - Update 2009 This report provides an update to the 2009 Baseline Report and is updated annually to provide on-going efforts to assess potential impacts to Churchill County associated with the Yucca Mountain Project.
February 2009 - Measures to Improve the safety of transporting spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste by truck on alternative routes through Churchill, Esmeralda, Lander and Mineral Counties, Nevada to the proposed Yucca Mountain Geologic repository.
The Department of Energy considered the suitability of the Yucca Mountain, Nevada site as a repository under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982. Transportation of materials for disposal at the site via rail has been studied as one consideration in evaluating the use of the Yucca Mountain site. Use of the Caliente Route for rail transport has been considered in the past. Along the Caliente Route, the track passes near Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. Subsequently, use of the Mina Route has been considered as an option for rail transport. Through Churchill County, the proposed Mina Route makes use of existing Union Pacific Railroad track from Pershing County near Toulon; running south past the west side of the Stillwater Wildlife Management area; toward Hazen; south along the west side of the Lahontan Reservoir into Lyon County; then heads southeast to Mineral County east of Walker Lake toward Hawthorne. The southern portion of the route, in the southern part of Churchill County and through Mineral County, runs along the west edge of the Walker River Indian Reservation. If the Mina Route were used, the majority of shipments passing through Churchill County would follow this route. Additional shipments would originate west of Churchill County and be transported via Fernley to Hazen, then continue to the south on the aforementioned route.
One advantage in the Department of Energy’s consideration of the Mina Route is that it requires less new track construction at the south end of the line near Yucca Mountain. Additionally, the Mina Route allows freight to be transported on an alignment that is not proximate to Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
The following files are separated for your convenience from the complete report due to the large size:
January 17, 2007
If a high-level waste repository opens at Yucca Mountain, south of Fallon on US 95, a large number of truck shipments of nuclear waste are expected on US 95. Truck shipments of nuclear waste through Fallon would lead to a radiation dose to the public even if the transport is incident-free, because no shielding material can reduce direct gamma radiation by 100 %. As a result, residents, drivers, pedestrians and workers will get a radiation dose, which depends on the recipient’s exposure proximity and duration. Depending on the population estimate, the population dose due to incident-free transportation of the entire waste that is planned to pass Fallon is as high as 9.45 person-rem. Even though this dose and the resulting population risk are relatively small, it nevertheless increases the risk to develop cancer.
These are smaller (PDF’s) for your convenience
This report is a preliminary investigation into the potential social, economic impact, and transportation impacts that could occur in Churchill County as a result of the Yucca Mountain Repository program and related transportation activities. The analysis considers direct, indirect and risk induced impacts associated wit the repository program and more specifically the transportation program. Impacts discussed in this report are primarily related to transportation impacts. Although U.S. 95 is not currently a preferred route to Yucca Mountain, states have the ability to select alternative routes that could place waste shipments to Yucca Mountain on a host of alternative routes other than U.S. DOT preferred transportation routes (interstate System).
October 5, 2001 - Churchill County comment at Fallon public meeting
September 1991 - Letter directing the designation of Churchill County as affected