Nevada urges GOP to drop new push on nuclear waste dump

Combined Shape

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nevada lawmakers said Wednesday that senators should end a renewed effort to create a national nuclear-waste dump at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain because the ensuing political battle would only delay a permanent solution to the country’s nuclear waste storage problem.

Pledging to ensure that “not an ounce of nuclear waste makes it to Yucca Mountain,” Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, told lawmakers that continuing to push for that site over her state’s objections would “waste decades and billions of taxpayer dollars.”

Cortez Masto spoke at a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee as it reviewed legislation by the chairman, Sen. John Barrasso, aimed at reviving the stalled plan for a permanent nuclear waste site in Nevada.

“I would like to find bipartisan agreement to move legislation to get our nuclear waste program back on track,” said Barrasso, R-Wyo.

Congress directed the Energy Department in 1982 to study whether the Nevada site was suitable as a repository. Plans called for burying tens of thousands of tons of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel stored at U.S. power plants and research facilities. President George W. Bush gave the go-ahead for the Yucca dump in 2002.

Trending:
CNN's Don Lemon Fails to Get Guest to Take 'Bait,' Instead Gets Contradicted on Slavery

Opposition from Nevada, including arguments that seismic activity and an Air Force test and training range in the area make Yucca Mountain unworkable for safe radioactive storage, shelved the effort.

President Donald Trump’s budgets have requested restarting the licensing process for the site.

Anthony O’Donnell of Maryland’s Public Service Commission urged Congress to move forward, saying utility ratepayers have paid billions of additional dollars to deal with nuclear waste disposal since Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) to resolve the matter decades ago.

“A good case can be made that we are in a worse situation on spent nuclear fuel management and disposal than when the NWPA was passed,” O’Donnell said.

Some Democrats and environmental groups argued it was time to find a way to make the permanent repository an attractive offer for some other state.

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said supporters were perpetuating a “Yucca Mountain fantasy land.” He spoke of communities around the country hosting temporary nuclear waste storage sites while federal officials sought a solution.

“Continuing to present that Yucca Mountain is a viable,” he said, “only makes it more likely that it will be those communities left holding” the bill.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation