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Trucks in Pennsylvania could carry nuclear waste

Large trucks are important vehicles, and intrastate and interstate commerce rely on the ability of semi-trucks and tractor-trailer trucks to transport large shipments efficiently from one destination to another.

While it is common to share the road with one of these massive vehicles, motorists in Pennsylvania and elsewhere likely have some concerns when traveling near a large truck. For example, motorists might question whether a truck driver is qualified to drive a commercial truck. But what about concerns regarding what a truck is transporting? Could the product within a truck generate more hazards in the event of a truck accident?

According to recent reports, the government plans to allow large trucks to carry nuclear waste on the interstate in Western Pennsylvania. This news has sparked much controversy and concerns regarding the health and safety of those on the roadways.

The major concern is the possibility of waste escaping the truck's container in the event of a collision. It was highlighted that transporting even solid high-level radioactive waste is a very high risk; therefore, shipping liquid radioactive waste, as proposed, is an even higher risk. Because of this, various environmentalist groups are suing the Department of Energy in hopes to halt the shipments of nuclear waste until the government can complete their impact studies.

While shipping high-level nuclear waste is not currently occurring on Pennsylvania roads, motorists in the state do share the road with large trucks shipping hazardous material. When such shipments occur, trucking companies and truck drivers are required to follow certain federal regulations; however this does not always occur. The failure to follow these regulations could cause serious injuries in the event of an accident.

Following a truck accident, injured parties should consider undertaking a full investigation. This could help determine cause and whether negligence was involved. This could help those harmed in the incident hold a liable party accountable for any injuries, losses or damages caused by the accident.

Source:, "Plans to truck nuclear waste on Pa. interstates sounding alarms," John Finnerty, Sept. 18, 2016

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