Bryan calls for extended comments on Yucca Mountain

Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev., says the Department of Energy should reopen public comment on Yucca Mountain because it printed the wrong address for comments in the Federal Register.

"As a result, many of those letters have simply been returned to Nevadans, unopened and unexamined," said Bryan.

He said that's not fair to all those who wished to make comments on the proposed nuclear waste dump project and that the only way to fix it is to extend the comment period for 75 days.

"This is yet another attempt by the DOE to ensure that the rules meet the repository rather than have the repository meet the rules," he said. "The possible storage of the nation's high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain puts a considerable burden on the people of Nevada and it is only fair that those who will be affected the most have an ample time to comment."

His demand comes just a day after Bryan highlighted the discovery that radioactive pollutants 25 times the permissible level have been found in groundwater outside the Nevada Test Site.

He said it is part of a "growing pattern of radioactive migration from the test site."

Bryan said that discovery again raises credibility questions for the department because possible groundwater contamination is one of the chief concerns about the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump site.

Bryan said the department must do more tests to properly determine how dangerous Yucca Mountain may be to groundwater in Southern Nevada.


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