U.S. House committee backs bill to restart Yucca Mountain
The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday reported out the bill designed to restart the Yucca Mountain licensing process.
Bob Halstead, head of the Nevada Agency For Nuclear Projects, said the measure was voted out on a unanimous voice vote. But he said it will be very difficult for Rep. John Shimkus, R-Illinois, prime sponsor of the measure, to get a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives because the House Rules Committee will have to rule on it.
“Also, there is no new congressional appropriation for Yucca Mountain, so this bill by itself would do nothing to restart Yucca Mountain even if it passed the Senate which it will not,” Halstead said.
He pointed out the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has not acted on a companion bill and the ranking member of that subcommittee has promised Gov. Steve Sisolak he will oppose the bill that is incompatible with the Nuclear Waste Administration Act currently being considered in the Senate.
He said he along with Sisolak, Attorney General Aaron Ford and Nevada’s congressional delegation and legislative leadership spent the morning on a conference call to discuss Nevada’s next step. Nevada, he said, remains firmly opposed to the nuclear dump project, “and we have the facts on our side if the NRC licensing proceeding were to be restarted.”