NV lawmakers respond to President's budget on Yucca plans

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WASHINGTON, DC (KOLO) - The Trump administration wants to restart the licensing process for the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository in southern Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

$120 million is included in President Trump's budget for licensing and to start dealing with nuclear waste produced by power plants around the country.

The money is part of a $30.6 billion budget request for the Department of Energy.

Click for earlier stories about Yucca Mountain.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval writes, "My office did receive notice from the Department of Energy that Yucca Mountain licensing funding would be in the budget, but we continue to disagree on the necessity to invest any money at all on this ill-conceived project. Yucca Mountain is incapable of safely storing the world’s most toxic substance and Nevada will continue to oppose any efforts to dump nuclear waste in our state. I am disappointed that the Administration’s budget appears to resurrect this dormant project and we will leave no stone unturned in fighting any attempt to revive this failed idea."

“Despite Congress’ refusal to fund the Yucca Mountain project, the Administration is once again prioritizing it. Whether it’s the threat that Yucca Mountain poses to the people of southern Nevada or its potentially catastrophic effect on our tourism economy, I’ve made it clear why Nevada does not want to turn into the nation’s nuclear waste dump,” says US Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). “Under my leadership Congress has not appropriated funding for licensing activities at Yucca Mountain as requested in the last budget, and I’m going to continue to fight to make sure that this project doesn’t see the light of day.”

Heller adds, “A state without a single nuclear power plant should not have to shoulder the entire nation’s nuclear waste burden. Instead of pursing a failed project that has already cost taxpayers billions of dollars, the Administration should refocus its efforts on the only sustainable path forward: a consent-based approach.”

“It’s a disgrace that President Trump and some Members of Congress find it acceptable to continue throwing away tax payer money on a failed project," says US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). "Proponents of Yucca Mountain have already wasted more than $15 billion on a hole in the ground and have nothing to show for it. There is bipartisan agreement in Nevada’s congressional delegation, and widespread opposition amongst Nevadans against Yucca Mountain. I will continue to fight this Administration and call for consent-based citing for federal projects. Local voices must be heard and the people of Nevada have spoken: the health and safety of their communities and their families is not for sale to this Administration. Rather than continue wasting billions of dollars, Secretary Perry should devote his time to coming up with a plan that secures America’s clean energy future and respects the right of states’ to decide if they want to be a nuclear dumping ground.”

“I am disappointed that President Trump’s latest budget request dedicates $120 million to revive the long-dead nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, money that would be much better spent on research and development of the renewable energy technology that we need to power our clean-energy future," says Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-NV4). "Rather than pursue a realistic attempt to develop a substantive nuclear waste management program, this is a colossal waste of funding that goes directly against the will of Nevadans. I have been proud to help lead the fight against dumping nuclear waste in Nevadans’ backyards, and I will continue working to ensure this project remains dead.”

Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV3) says, "This budget would also waste millions in taxpayer dollars to try to revive Yucca Mountain, a dangerous and reckless project that would turn Nevada into a dumping ground for nuclear waste. I will continue to fight against this Administration’s efforts to dump nuclear waste in Nevada and work across the aisle on a spending plan that supports our state’s priorities and lifts up working families.”

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV1) says, “Southern Nevada is a major target in the FY19 skinny budget. The Administration continues to ignore the will of Nevadans by authorizing up to $120 million for the unworkable Yucca Mountain project. That sum would be a tiny down payment on a project that will cost $100 billion and ship nuclear waste through hundreds of congressional districts across the country. This is unacceptable because Nevada is not a wasteland."