U.S. Senators Dean Heller and Catherine Cortez Masto, along with U.S. Representatives Dina Titus, Ruben J. Kihuen and Jacky Rosen teamed Wednesday to introduce legislation to keep the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Repository from being resurrected. The Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act permits the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to authorize construction of a nuclear waste repository only if the Secretary of Energy has secured written consent from the governor of the host state, affected units of local government, and affected Indian tribes. The act ensures Nevada, and every other state, has a meaningful voice in the process if it is considered for a nuclear waste repository.
“The Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository is a figment of the federal government’s imagination,” said Heller. “It’s time for the federal government to admit what Nevadans already know: Yucca Mountain does not have a path forward. For decades, billions of dollars were wasted by bureaucrats in Washington in an attempt to force an ill-conceived move of this nuclear waste to Nevada. The bottom line is obvious. Congress must now focus its efforts on a consent-based approach for siting project, as required by our bill and recommended by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.
“Yucca Mountain is not a viable solution for dealing with nuclear waste,” said Cortez Masto. “Nevadans have been clear that they do not want a nuclear dumping site in their back yard and any discussions of sites for nuclear repositories must include the states and key stakeholders. I will continue to work with the Nevada delegation and Governor Sandoval to ensure that the Yucca Mountain project stays dead. We will not allow dangerous proposals that threaten the health and safety of Nevadans to go forward.”
“Today we send a clear message to the next administration and those in Congress who have long-championed the Yucca Mountain project that the State of Nevada remains opposed to nuclear waste storage within our borders,” Titus said. “No state or community should have a nuclear waste dump forced upon them. This bipartisan, bicameral, commonsense legislation gives voice to those most affected while creating a process to address the nation’s nuclear waste concerns.”
“The Fourth Congressional District isn’t a dumping ground for the rest of the country’s nuclear waste, especially when the health and safety of my constituents is at risk. I’m proud to support the Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act and will continue Senator Reid’s legacy by fighting day-in and day-out to ensure the Yucca Mountain project stays dead,” said Kihuen.
“This bipartisan legislation is absolutely vital to Nevada’s future growth, the attraction of jobs and business, and our tourism industry. This bill will require state and local government consent before a nuclear waste site can be authorized, and is important in our effort to prevent the use of Yucca Mountain for that purpose. I’m proud to work with Senators Heller and Cortez Masto, and my House colleagues, Congresswoman Titus and Congressman Kihuen, to ensure that Yucca Mountain remains a dead issue for the good of our state and the quality of life of our constituents,” said Rosen.