Nuclear waste being moved on Calif. freeways

The almost 800,000-pound piece of "slightly radioactive" steel from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will be moving to a disposal site in Utah through California and Nevada. KCBS

LOS ANGELES Toxic power plant parts started making its way down Southern California freeways on Sunday.

The waste -- a 797,000-pound piece of "slightly radioactive" steel from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station near San Diego -- is being hauled by a 400-foot vehicle through San Diego, San Bernadino and Riverside counties to Clive, Utah, where it will be disposed of, CBS affiliate KCBS in Los Angeles reported.

Measuring 100 yards long by 17-feet high, the toxic materials will be hard not to notice. The radioactive items came from a former steam generator inside the plant, and this is the third portion of waste out of four that is being disposed. Authorities said that it has very little radiation and should not pose any threat to the public.

"The exposure that a person could receive standing five-to-10 feet away from the transports for an hour would be equivalent to a dental x-ray," Scott Andresen, a spokesperson for Southern California Consolidated Edison, told KCBS.

Andresen added that there will be no measurable radiation as the toxic waste moves through California to Utah.

"If they had their Geiger counter out and watching go out there would be no measurable difference than what's going on in the air," Andresen told CBSNews.com.

Andresen said the most dangerous part of moving the items is the sheer size. California Highway Patrol and CalTrans will be accompanying the radioactive items, and the exact route is not being revealed for security reasons. While in California, the transport will be traveling at night to minimize any problems, and they will resume daytime operations when in less populous areas of Nevada and Utah.

"It is such a large piece of equipment the less public participation the better ... It is really an impressive transport," he said.

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