In light of Japan's Fukushima disaster, the future of nuclear power is a topic of debate whenever alternative power sources are discussed. Whether you are for nuclear power or against it, one legacy of this technology will be the great lengths that governments and power companies must go to dispose of the spent fuel and other byproducts.

The San Onofre nuclear power station replaced its steam generator several years ago, but only now is it able to move the old generator to a secure disposal facility. The generator must be moved in four parts. Each section is roughly 50-feet long and 15 feet in diameter and requires a transportation method of epic proportions. The trailer specifically constructed for this move is 400-feet long, nearly 17-feet high and it will take three weeks to make the 830-mile trip from San Onofre to its Utah disposal site.

For safety and security reasons, the route for the trips are undisclosed, though the first leg snakes its way through San Bernadino and Riverside counties. The generator parts will travel at night for minimal traffic, accompanied by California Highway Patrol.

The whole rig weighs in at 700,000 pounds and can only travel at a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour. Though the generator is irradiated, standing next to the rig for an hour will only expose you to the same amount of radiation as a dentist's x-ray.

An official from Southern California Edison says this special package could be the largest load ever to be moved such a distance distance. As our nation's nuclear powerplants age, motorists may see more impressive sights like this in the coming year. In case you don't find one on your nightly commute, check out the video below.



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 273 Comments
      klipsc9632
      • 2 Years Ago
      For safety and security why is this even being put on the internet? Any body with half a brain would be able to figure out which routes it might take and it is not as if this is something small that could be hidden easily.
      fishbbtnc
      • 2 Years Ago
      Keep the route secret? OK, how do you do that? Big blue truck, 400,000 lbs, any idiot could find the thing. Why move the crap out of California if it's so safe? Then again, if it is dangerous why move it out of California? Now, if I understand it correctly, the EPA and the environmental folks want to move this deadly waste from a poluted California to a really clean and pretty place like Utah... He, he, he......The people's right to know my butt...
        ExclusivFootball
        • 2 Years Ago
        @fishbbtnc
        The people in charge figure the terrorists are as dumb as they are.
        ExclusivFootball
        • 2 Years Ago
        @fishbbtnc
        It's Obama's way of saying thank you to California for voting for him and sticking it to Utah which didn't. More of the same coming to your state, if he didn't win your state.
      PeriSoft
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh, and one other thing - what, precisely, are these putative terrorists going to DO once they show up and commandeer the vehicle? Put the thing in the back of an F250 Super Duty and make a run for it? The thing needs a truck with 200 wheels that can only go 25 miles per hour! And even if they could somehow make off with it, where would they GO? It's 400 FREAKING FEET LONG! Are they going to hide it in an apartment in a bad section of town? At 700,000lbs it's gonna be a real b**tard to get up the stairs, isn't it? Think, people!
      greghaylock
      • 2 Years Ago
      George, You and KCAL got your info all wrong. There were 4 cooling coils that were encased in a special very high density concrete and the cooling tubes were filled as well. The weight each of the units in 797,000 lbs plus the weight of the haul vehicle. Total weight for each move was 1,250,000 lbs, the heaviest load ever to move on California's roads. The length was not over 400 ft until they attached three pullers trucks in front and 4 pusher tractors in the back (2 side by side). In its normal configuration it was 2 lanes wide but has the capability to dog track, making it 3 lanes wide. (This feature was handy for crossing bridges.) There are 196 wheels on the trailer, but that doesn't include the 70 more wheels for the 7 10 wheel tractor trucks to move it. They only needed all 7 when they went up the Cajon Pass. It took 9 night moves to get out of California. They spent over 2 years designing the route and vehicle. Absolutely nothing was left to chance. Negotiating corners was time consuming and the utmost care was required to do so safely. During the day it was guarded by armed security and at night there were no less than 9 CHP units in escort. SoCal Edison very carefully and conscientiously prepared and executed the movements of these decommissioned units. I know because I was out there when they went over my bridges.
      jnrentz
      • 2 Years Ago
      I believe in openness, and not in secrecy. However, why is this story being released to the public? There are those perverts, wackos, terrorists, sickos and America Haters who may be inspired to do something in an effort to bring about some kind of disaster. The public does not need to know everything when it occurs. Tell us after it is done, not while it is happening.
      Nancy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is it necessary to tell everyone about the most dangerous cargo being transported to Utah through specific areas at night? Good God people, why is this being advertised. And we nude screen 80 year old women at the airports? Talk about ridiculous and silly!
        c47captain
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nancy
        My I add to comment about "80 year old women at the airports"? If we also screen children, spill human remains, steal from luggage, disconnect colostomy bags and make the disabled endure invasive body searches we create a "layered approach" to security. Now, don't you feel safer?
      Jayna
      • 2 Years Ago
      OH? So you put this BS on mainstream media "news" so the entire world can see what the US is doing? Takes brains.
        wllharrington
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jayna
        This is the same media that thinks Obama can do no wrong and through lies and deceit were vital in getting him reelected.
      skjuice
      • 2 Years Ago
      Very interesting............ However, why on earth are we even allowing this story to be told until the move is complete..... Another example of the stupidity that we are governed by.........
      mdancer111
      • 2 Years Ago
      So why do we disclose this info so someone can use this against us. A load of that size can only take one of a few dirrections. Any guy with a Get Smart GPS or smart phone can figure out the way they are going and do harm. What's wrong with the reporting in this country. Not all criminals are stupid. Full disclosure is not always best. Report the story after the move
        onewatz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mdancer111
        Freedom of the Press has gone too far with regards to the safety on the USA
      Judy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Type your comment here It seems irresponsible to show a picture. Now every crazy will be out there looking for it, hoping to do some damage somehow.
      lazilio
      • 2 Years Ago
      We just completed a process similar to this in upstate NY last month. The roads that the transformers had to move on had to be reinforced, and traffic was stopped or hours. And then some. Glad the internet doesn't let our secrets go to "terrorists".......we'd have had a heck of a time getting the cows out of the road, and us out of harm's way.
      Love Great Danes
      • 2 Years Ago
      ship it to Washington DC with all the other waste out there
    • Load More Comments