Republicans and Democrats in Nevada responded to Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s comments about storing the nation’s nuclear waste at the Nevada National Security Site.

Perry made the statement during Tuesday’s House Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee hearing.

Gov. Brian Sandoval

During the hearing, Secretary Perry doubled-down on his desire to make Nevada the nation’s nuclear dumping ground by suggesting he would like to consider interim storage of high-level nuclear waste at the Nevada National Security Site in the short term.

“Today’s comments by Secretary Perry suggesting he would consider storage of high-level nuclear waste at the Nevada National Security Site come as a complete blindside and I view this as a total disregard and failure to honor the historical process. The idea of storing high-level nuclear waste at the National Security Site is ill-conceived, irresponsible, and likely illegal. This is a prime example of federal overreach and Nevada will pursue every legal option at our disposal. Today, I’ve asked the Nevada Attorney General to review this misguided proposal and identify legal avenues to stop it. This is further than even the most fervent pro-Yucca advocates have gone and like Yucca Mountain, this idea is a non-starter. Let me be clear, no part of Nevada will be home to the world’s most toxic waste and we will fight every effort that puts our citizens at risk.”

Sen. Dean Heller, R-NV

“Secretary Perry’s comments today are irresponsible, reckless, and show a blatant disregard for the state of Nevada. As I have repeatedly told the Secretary, Nevada will not serve as our nation’s nuclear waste dump. The only viable solution to our country’s nuclear waste problem is one that is rooted in consent, and Nevada has said ‘no.’ I stand with Nevada in staunch opposition to Secretary Perry’s comments regarding the Test Site and any attempt to revive Yucca Mountain. Secretary Perry today referred to a ‘moral and national security obligation,’ and I believe that fighting for Nevada against Yucca Mountain is mine.”

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-NV

“Secretary Perry’s ‘moral obligation’ to restart the Yucca Mountain project and build interim nuclear waste facilities in Nevada is diametrically opposed to the moral obligation Nevadans have to protect our families, communities and way of life. I urge the Secretary to heed the advice of scientists who have deemed Yucca Mountain unviable and dangerous for nuclear waste storage, particularly due to its close proximity to Nevada’s communities. Until then, I am prepared to do whatever I can to stop ill-conceived proposals from advancing.”

Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen, D-Clark

“Secretary Perry’s comments are the height of irresponsibility. The federal government has tried for years to force Nevada to serve as the dumping ground for the rest of the country’s nuclear waste without success. This is another poor attempt by an Administration hell-bent on ignoring one simple fact — Nevadans do not support the dumping of nuclear waste in our state. Suggesting that the Department of Energy should double down on a flawed plan by storing waste on a short-term basis at the Nevada National Security Site is truly shortsighted and offensive. I will continue to fight tooth and nail to prevent the dumping of nuclear waste in our state and ensure that the Yucca Mountain remains dead.”

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