MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Radioactive materials could be transported through southeastern Wisconsin if federal lawmakers approve a plan to use Nevada' s Yucca Mountain as a high-level nuclear waste repository.
The Department of Energy' s final environmental impact statement for the project details the routes for transporting waste to Nevada.
In Wisconsin, waste from the Kewaunee and Point Beach nuclear power plants could be taken by barge to the Port of Milwaukee. From there, it would be taken by rail to Nevada, the report says. Other possibilities include using interstates 43 or 94 and Highway 57 to move spent fuel.
" For Wisconsin, it is the routes that are of concern, " said Rich Bogovich, a climate change specialist with Wisconsin' s Environmental Decade. " It seems that there must be some alternative to putting the waste through our largest city."
Department of Energy spokesman Joe Davis said the routes are only proposals and the department would meet with state governments before finalizing the plan.
President Bush wants to use Yucca Mountain, about 90 miles outside of Las Vegas, as a site for permanently storing the nation' s existing spent nuclear fuel, a byproduct of nuclear energy production.
Both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate must approve the Yucca Mountain proposal before work on the facility can proceed.
Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., supports the Yucca Mountain proposal but wants to make sure waste transportation is safe. He said Wisconsin residents have paid more than $250 million to help pay for construction of a permanent storage site, something the federal government promised it would provide.
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said he was still studying the matter and was not completely sold on transporting waste from Wisconsin to Nevada.
Nuclear waste from Wisconsin' s two nuclear plants is currently kept in an onsite outdoor cask.