Mayor would ban nuke waste shipments
LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman is scheduled to introduce an ordinance Wednesday that would make it a misdemeanor to transport nuclear waste through the city.
The ordinance would offer at least sybolic opposition to an Energy Department proposal to ship 77,000 tons of nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
If adopted, the ordinance will make it a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,000, to transport high-level nuclear waste within the city limits.
”I think we have a long row to hoe, but I think it begins the dialogue and gets the public aware of the danger,” Goodman said.
Goodman said his proposal could create stronger opposition to the federal government’s plans, even though technically it could face legal challenges.
”We might not have any jurisdiction over a federal highway, but we have jurisdiction over the safety of the citizens of Las Vegas,” Goodman said.
Judy Treichel, director of the Nuclear Waste Task Force, said she supports any effort that clearly states Nevada’s opposition to the possible storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.
”I certainly think it sends a wonderful message to other cities and to other jurisdictions across the state that Nevada is thoroughly opposed to this plan,” Treichel said. ”It would be nice to have them see what Mayor Goodman is doing here and have them follow suit.”
The ordinance would amend the city’s municipal code, making it a misdemeanor to transport high-level radioactive material within the city’s limits. Low-level radioactive material is currently transported routinely within the city’s limits through the Spaghetti Bowl.
Goodman’s proposal defines high-level nuclear waste as fuel that has been withdrawn from a nuclear reactor following irradiation.
If Yucca Mountain is approved as a nuclear waste repository, a trucking route would likely go over Hoover Dam and onto the Las Vegas Beltway.