Oregon officials and anti-nuclear activists are taking aim at the draft assessment of the federal government’s plan to ship thousands of truckloads of radioactive nuclear waste through Oregon to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state. The draft environmental impact statement by the U.S. Energy Department estimates that the environmental effects of transporting the waste “are relatively small and would not be expected to contribute substantially to cumulative impacts of other activities at Hanford or in the surrounding region.” But Oregon nuclear safety officials beg to differ, saying the agency’s report lacked the science to back up those claims. For example, the document does not specify the exact kinds of material that would be shipped to Hanford, nor the exact volumes, and it relies on outdated general estimates of nationwide impacts from shipping nuclear waste, rather than looking at circumstances specific to Oregon, such as trucking waste over treacherous mountain passes.

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