Yucca Mountain not dead after all? | NevadaAppeal.com

Yucca Mountain not dead after all?

Sen. Harry Reid has said with confidence that the plan to make Yucca Mountain the nation’s nuclear waste repository is dead, a proclamation that put the anxieties of many Nevadans at ease.

Yet New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Idaho Sen. Larry Craig have introduced legislation that would fast track the licensing of Yucca Mountain. Domenici has tied the completion of the project as necessary to combat climate change, saying nuclear energy is a clean source of energy.

Clean for New Mexico, maybe, but Domenici might be singing a different tune if the waste were being shipped to his state rather than Nevada.

Yucca Mountain is a flawed project, a money pit that has swallowed up billions of dollars. Nevadans have said clearly they don’t want the waste. But the new legislation is a clear signal that scientific flaws and the will of the people aren’t enough to drive the final nail in its coffin. Politics is a powerful force that keeps the project’s heart beating.

We hope Sen. Reid has more success in driving that final nail than he’s had in his equally confident proclamations about ending our war in Iraq.