House Subcommittee Puts Yucca Mountain Back In Limelight

Legislation that returns Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to the front of the line with regards to selection – and implementation – of the nation's federal repository for spent fuel from nuclear power plants passed a House subcommittee's review in Washington on Thursday.

Yucca MountainThe Subcommittee on Environment for the House Energy and Commerce Committee gave their approval to the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017. The bill now goes to the parent committee.

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., said the committee members heard “scores of expert witnesses” on the subject. He also called nuclear waste management a bipartisan issue. “There is an urgent need for Congress to address this challenge as taxpayer liability continues to skyrocket due to federal government's obligations,” the Las Vegas Sun quoted Shimkus as saying.

Nevada's Democratic senator Catherine Cortez Masto has pledged to fight the legislation. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has also said he was opposed to Yucca Mountain as a federal repository. His office has also said he would fight a lawsuit filed in Texas that seeks to force the government to meet its obligations concerning the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, which designated Yucca Mountain as the nation's spent fuel repository.

The new bill would allow the federal government to supersede the stat's air and water quality mandates. It would also “remove the cap on the amount of waste originally allowed at the proposed Yucca Mountain facility,” said Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev.

Titus noted that the majority of voters in the state were opposed to the selection of Yucca Mountain as a spent fuel repository. However, some communities, including Nye County, which includes Yucca Mountain, are in favor of the selection, the Sun reported.

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  • Anonymous

    None of the Nevada politicians ever toured the Yucca Mt project while it was under construction. not even interested to know the 'enemy' before they shot their mouths off repeating hypothetic statements. neither are they experienced in geology to understand faults, igneous rocks and the ground water relationship at the site. ignorant politicians are contagious. Having been 20 years a career mining geologist, then 13 years at Yucca, currently 6 years in nuclear plant construction, owning 25 acres of desert land with water rights and less than 30 miles from  the site I will always be convinced God made that place for the waste to be buried.