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Higgins Wins Approval For Amendment to Require a Risk Assessment Prior to Planned Transport of Liquid Uranium Across Border

May 20, 2015
Press Release
Congressman Says Shipment of Nuclear Waste Across Peace Bridge Creates Threat of ‘Mobile Chernobyl’

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Through a process being coordinated by the National Nuclear Security Administration and U.S. Department of Energy’s Environmental Management program, there are plans to begin shipping highly enriched uranium in liquid form from Chalk River, Ontario to the Department of Energy’s Savannah Energy River Site in Aiken, South Carolina via the Peace Bridge in 2016.

The route was approved nearly two decades ago for a less dangerous type of nuclear waste transport and despite Congressman Higgins’ call for a full environmental review, the DOE continues to maintain a new Environmental Impact Statement is not necessary. 

Congressman Higgins’ amendment requires the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis to examine and share information with stakeholders regarding the risk of transporting highly enriched uranium liquid over international bridges and through metropolitan areas.

During committee discussion on the issue Higgins noted the lack of consideration for the potential of a terrorist attack and the impact contamination could have on the highly populated community and clean water.  The Buffalo-Niagara region sits within a 500 mile radius of 55% of the American population and 62% of the Canadian population.  The Great Lakes contain 84% of America’s surface fresh water. 

Last year when Higgins began his effort to demand the federal government consider the severity of their proposal and plan accordingly the Congressman warned, “Without a comprehensive review and plan, they are setting us up for a mobile Chernobyl.”