Record Superload Takes Six Semis and 45-Axle Flatbed Trailer to Get the Job Done
Carson City, NV – The largest superload to ever travel on Nevada’s roadways is currently making its way across the State, en route to Utah.
According to Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) spokesman, Tony Illia, a decommissioned reactor pressure vessel is being transported and it is 16.5 feet in diameter and weighs in at a whopping 1.5 million pounds.
Originating from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (which permanently shut down in 2013 and is currently in the process of decomissioning), the reactor is on its way to Energy Solutions’ Nuclear Waste Facility in Utah to be buried.
The reactor was transported from Southern California to North Las Vegas via rail on a 36-axle Schnabel train car that weighed 2.2 million pounds.
It arrived to Apex Industrial Park (AIP) in North Las Vegas on May 28.
There, Illia says it was loaded onto a custom-made, 122-foot, 45-axle flatbed trailer, which arrived to AIP in eight pieces and was assembled on-site.
The transport is being handled by Clackamas, OR-based Emmert International and took over a year of planning to coordinate.
The reactor is in the process of being moved from North Las Vegas to its final destination in Clive, UT, which is approximately 75 miles west of Salt Lake City.
Six heavy-duty Class 8 trucks are being used in the transport, Illia said.
Two of the tractors are pulling the load with four tractors pushing, using a combined 460 tires.
A series of interconnecting tow bars are being used to create a 23′ x 306.5′ “train,” Illia explained.
To put that in perspective, it is the same length of the Statue of Liberty laid on its side.
A combined 4,000-horsepower is being used to make the haul which weighs in at a whopping 2.4 million pounds.
Illia said Emmet “will reinforce up to nine drainage culverts along the route using hydraulic jacks to prevent damage to public infrastructure.”
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The superload is being accompanied by a pair of Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) cars during its journey across the State.
Traveling between five and ten miles per hour, the load is expected to take seven days to make its roughly 450-mile trip.
The reactor itself is classified as the least hazardous radioactive waste classification available by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 500-times below the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) limit.
It began generating electricity in 1968 and was pulled from service in 1992.
Since 2002, it has been stored in a 2-inch thick carbon steel jacket that was filled with grout and also has a 3-inch thick carbon steel liner for additional radiation protection.