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2 weeks needed to switch 770-ton nuclear reactor from train to truck

Updated May 29, 2020 - 6:25 am

The train carrying a decommissioned nuclear reactor vessel from Southern California is passing through Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon.

The vessel from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is headed for a burial ground in Utah.

It will be transferred starting either Friday or Saturday at Apex Industrial Park, according to Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Illia.

Cranes will be used to lift the heaviest load to ever travel a Nevada road onto a 45-axle, 180-tire trailer. It will take a couple of weeks to complete the transfer.

4 tractors to push and pull

The 300-foot-long shipment will consist of two tractors to pull and another two tractors to push the over 1.5-million pound load.

It will travel at 5 to 10 mph on the highway for the 400-mile trip to Clive, Utah, where it will be buried at EnergySolutions, the contractor that is dismantling the plant.

NDOT has to issue an overdimensional permit, which won’t occur until 24 hours before hitting the highway, Illia said.

Nevada State Patrol troopers will escort the shipment to the Utah border.

The reactor was used from 1968 to 1992. It has been encased in a 2-inch-thick carbon steel jacket to shield from any radiation. Officials said the reactor gives off one-tenth the radiation of a chest Xray.

EnergySolutions says other parts from the plant will eventually head through Nevada to burial in Utah, but none will be nearly as large.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@review-journal.com. Follow @Marv_in_Vegas on Twitter.

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