Nuclear waste will be passing through parts of Hampton Roads, by truck and by train, in the next decade.
Congress Tuesday night approved the Yucca Mountain underground complex for storing spent fuel from the nation's nuclear power plants. And that means waste from Surry Nuclear Power Station will be headed west.
The question is, how to get it there.
"I was hoping Yucca Mountain really would be the place for it to go, but getting it there is really a major problem," said Fred Adams, a local representative of the Sierra Club.
One plan calls for sending the waste by barge down the James River to Portsmouth Marine Terminal. From there, it would be put on trains for the trip to Nevada. The terminal is right next to the Port Norfolk neighborhood.
Another option calls for trucking the waste a short distance to a rail line in Surry. It would then be put on trains bound for Nevada. Trains are the Sierra Club's preferred method of transport for nuclear waste.
A third route has trucks hauling the waste across the James River and then going west on Interstate 64.
"Almost any major highway where you would transport this material would be close to large groups of population. We're much concerned about that," Adams said.
There will be public hearings on routes before any shipments begin. It could be eight more years before shipments actually begin.