Semi burned on 1-80 carried radioactive soil in Tooele County

A semi carrying radioactive soil from an EPA site in Pennsylvania burned on I-80 in Tooele County on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah, July 12, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A semi that caught fire Thursday morning on Interstate 80 was carrying contaminated soil from an EPA site in Pennsylvania.

The truck fire occurred on I-80 westbound, near Grantsville. The radioactive soil did not pose a threat to the public, according to Tooele County Emergency Management. The containers carrying the radioactive dirt were never breached by the fire, officials said.

The driver was unhurt. The flames did spark a small brush fire, officials said.

The dirt was headed to the EnergySolutions Disposal Facility in Clive, in Utah’s west desert, about 75 miles west of Salt Lake City.

Environmental watchdog group HEAL Utah released a statement following the incident:

“Luckily, the radioactive material container held up in this instance, but there are many examples of truck and train accidents involving toxic substances that have spilled,” said HEAL Utah’s Executive Director Scott Williams.

“Transporting radioactive waste, in any form, poses serious, irreversible health hazards should there be an accident. Utahns already have a long, painful history with radioactivity and bringing waste to Yucca Mountain or depleted uranium to be dumped in our state just adds one more chapter to this story of Utahns, who have never benefited from nuclear power, being asked to bear the burden of the nation’s nuclear industry.”


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