Anti-Yucca dump site legislation introduced
January 14, 2017
Five of Nevada's six-member congressional delegation teamed this week to introduce legislation designed to prevent the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump from being resurrected.
U.S. Senators Dean Heller and Catherine Cortez Masto were joined by House members Dina Titus, Ruben Kihuen and Jacky Rosen in introducing the Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act. That bill would allow the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to authorize the Yucca projection to go forward only if the Secretary of Energy gets written consent from the governor of Nevada. The law would apply not only to Nevada but any other state the federal government considers for the waste dump.
Missing from the list of co-sponsors was Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nv., who has repeatedly said he believes the dump will be forced on Nevada and the state, instead of fighting it, should get something like the right-of-way for Interstate 11 from Las Vegas to Reno.
"For decades, billions of dollars were wasted by bureaucrats in Washington in an attempt to force an ill-conceived move of this nuclear waste to Nevada," said Heller.
He said state consent would be required by their bill and was also recommended by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Nevada's Nuclear Future.
"Nevadans have been clear that they do not want a nuclear dumping site in their backyard and any discussions of sites for nuclear repositories must include the states and key stakeholders," said Masto.
Titus described the legislation as a clear message Nevada remains opposed to the dump.
"No state or community should have a nuclear waste dump forced upon them," she said.
Kihuen, whose district includes the dumpsite north of Las Vegas, said he will continue Sen. Harry Reid's long battle to ensure Yucca Mountain isn't revived by the new president and Congress. Rosen said the bipartisan legislation is vital to Nevada's future growth and the state's tourism industry.