ESRA presentation to address crash risks on American Indian tribal roads

and the impacts on WIPP nuclear waste transportation routes




Boca Raton, Florida (ESRA) January 10, 2007-  ESRA Consulting Corporation is pleased to announce that the paper, “After September 11, 2001:

Risk Perception and Risk Assessment of American Indian Pueblos and Tribes of New Mexico on the Impacts of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and

Its Transuranic Nuclear Waste Transportation Routes,” will be presented at the 86th Annual Transportation Research Board (TRB) Meeting of the

National Academies in Washington, DC, January 21- 27 , 2007.


“This topic is timely because it demonstrates that nuclear waste is being shipped across tribal lands in New Mexico, where the societal risks of

New Mexico American Indians on the roads of pueblos and reservations are significantly higher than all others on New Mexico and US roads.”

said Sandy Straus, company president and author of the paper.  “We reviewed data from an 11-period which led to several interesting findings.”


Nuclear waste shipments are not only about risk analyses, but of risk perceptions.  A survey of all tribal leaders after the September 11 tragedies

reveals that, while the DOE has taken substantial steps to implement emergency preparedness programs with respect to nuclear waste transport,

the tribes, overwhelmingly, do not feel they are adequately prepared to respond to an incident.


This may not only be due to historical and cultural issues, but to the immediate dangers associated with the disproportionate number of traffic-related crashes

and fatalities on tribal roads.  Such risks need to be considered as long as the remote-handled wastes, nuclear waste which requires heavy and

protective shielding due to the gamma (penetrating) radiation that it emits, start to be transported through roads in New Mexico, especially where casinos,

a primary source of revenue for different tribes, are operated.  Other out-of-state tribes and tribal-owned and operated casinos may soon face similar

challenges as more roads are identified as nuclear waste transportation routes.



About the author 

Sandy Straus is President and Senior Engineer at ESRA Consulting Corporation.  Straus is also an expert in traffic safety and is the authoress of

several government reports on topics as diverse as automation, transportation engineering, nuclear waste disposal, probabilistic risk assessment, and

human factor issues (older drivers, teen drivers).  Straus is the also the inventor of the automated driver’s license test, numerous automated medical and transportation

tests and systems, automated truck lanes, and a theoretical model of effectively determining pavement damage due to overweight trucks.  


About ESRA

ESRA Consulting Corporation is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in turnkey solutions associated

with transportation, energy, security, and the environment.


About the TRB 86th Annual Meeting

According to the TRB website, the TRB 86th Annual Meeting is expected to ".... attract approximately 10,000 transportation professionals from around the world to Washington, DC....

The TRB Annual Meeting program covers all transportation modes, with more than 2,800 presentations in 500 sessions addressing topics of interest to all attendees—

policy makers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions...."


For further information on this TRB paper and presentation, to be held at the Hilton from 1:30 to 3:15 P.M. on January 23, 2007, please contact ESRA at 1+561+361+0004 or E-mail.