Nevadans in congress and Governor Sandoval speak about nuke dump funding
Nevada's congressional delegation is nearly united decrying President Donald Trump's request for Congress to allocate $120 million to restart the licensing process for a national nuclear waste dump in the desert outside Las Vegas.
The state's U.S. senators, Republican Dean Heller and Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, fired off a letter Thursday to new Energy Secretary Rick Perry declaring the mothballed Yucca Mountain project dead and beyond resuscitation.
Democratic Reps. Dina Titus, Ruben Kihuen, and Jacky Rosen declared they won't let Nevada become the nation's nuclear dumping ground.
Republican Rep. Mark Amodei didn't immediately comment.
In rural Nye County, the county commission chairman is welcoming the president's call to fund hearings for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to decide if Yucca Mountain is safe and should be licensed to accept spent nuclear fuel.
Governor Brian Sandoval issued the following statement after the release of the White House’s fiscal budget plan which included funds to restart licensing for the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Southern Nevada.
Regarding Yucca Mountain, let me make my position clear – for the remainder of my term I will vigorously fight the storage of high-level nuclear waste in Nevada. Any attempt to resurrect this ill-conceived project will be met with relentless opposition, and maximum resources. Continuing down a path that seeks to force this unsafe and unwanted project on Nevada is a waste of time and money and only gets the country farther away from solving its nuclear waste problem.
I encourage the President to give the nuclear waste problem the same review process he has successfully applied to flawed contracts and government proposals so far. The private sector has demonstrated that they can address the problem of spent nuclear fuel more efficiently, at far less expense to the federal government, and they can do so in partnership with willing host states.
Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt issued the following statement regarding Yucca Mountain.
In the coming years, I will continue to battle the poster-child for federal overreach – a battle over an unwanted nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in our beloved Nevada. My Solicitor General’s Office, senior staff and outside experts, working in conjunction with the Office of Nuclear Project’s staff and technical experts and the Governor’s Office, have been preparing for a resumption of attempts to license Yucca Mountain to store high level nuclear waste since a federal court issued its restart order.
Today’s announcement that the president is requesting $120 million in nuclear waste funding, part of which would be used to restart licensing activities for the Yucca Mountain repository, comes as no surprise to this team. Together, we have submitted two separate budget requests for a combined total of $3.6 million per year for the next two years (State of Nevada FY 2018-2019 biennium) to represent Nevada’s interests in the licensing proceeding. That request was based on an anticipated federal restart budget in the range of $100-150 million over the coming year, placing today’s announced federal request in line with our planning assumptions. If more funds are required, we will request additional funding from the Legislature.
Nevada will continue to litigate this matter aggressively and fully. We have many strong claims against the proposed nuclear repository. If the Trump administration continues along this path, we expect many years of protracted litigation in which we are confident we will ultimately prevail.