"We're a small town, everyone stops and looks," said Williams. "It was like a big parade."
The nuclear load was slightly radioactive, but posed no health hazard, officials said. Someone standing next to it for an hour would get a dose of radioactivity about the same as a dental X-ray.
The trailer traveled by night in California to lessen the impact on traffic and by day on less-traveled routes in Nevada and Utah. Ultimately, the trailer and its convoy arrived nearly a week ahead of the estimated travel time of three weeks. The only delay was a two-day stop because of rain in Paris, Calif.
This was the third retired steam generator transported from the San Onofre nuclear power plant to the Energy Solutions facility in Utah, Andresen said. The first two made the trip in 2011; a fourth was scheduled for December.
"We have learned a lot of lessons learned from the first two," Andresen said. "It went really smoothly and safely."