Evaluation of key factors in transportation risk analysis

Krishnapriya Madhavapeddi, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Pursuant to the enactment of federal legislation, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is presently evaluating Yucca Mountain as a candidate site for a repository to store spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste (HLRW). Risk analyses could be used to support transportation decisions (such as route and mode selection) pertaining to the repository program; The purpose of this study is to develop a procedure to facilitate comparative transportation risk assessment. A case study of Lincoln County, Nevada is used to discuss the significance of key input data required to support such risk analysis. A methodology was developed to estimate the population density along the transport corridors using a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program, ARC/INFO. Accident data pertinent to individual segments of highway route for the years 1987 through 1993 were used to develop accident rates the distribution of Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) volumes. Accident data for the rail route were obtained directly from the Union Pacific Railroad Company; In 1984, the Department of Energy conducted a preliminary cost and risk analysis for transporting spent fuel and high level wastes to potential repository sites nationwide. This study presents a comparison of the results of the 1994 DOE study with estimates of risks obtained for Lincoln County using RADTRAN 4, the current version of the code. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).