Reid Backs Yucca Mountain Alternative

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada Sen. Harry Reid says he'll support a federal Energy Department plan to create a commission to study alternatives to a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

The Democrat said he decided to scrap his own proposal for a similar panel after meeting with Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday.

Under Reid's legislation, commission members would have been appointed by Congress. Nuclear industry groups criticized the bill and asked for a more independent panel.

Reid now says administering the panel through the Energy Department is a faster approach. Commission members will be appointed by Chu.

The dueling plans for the panel were proposed earlier this month, after Chu declared Yucca Mountain was no longer considered an option for housing the nation's radioactive waste.

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