Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement on her request to exclude Yucca Mountain funding from being included in the recently passed FY2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.
“Not only have the people of Nevada refused to allow Yucca Mountain to operate in their backyards, scientists have confirmed that it is not a viable solution for permanent nuclear waste storage. Its proximity to fault lines, along with its detrimental effects of potential groundwater contamination will put the health and safety of Nevadans at risk. Congress must pursue consent-based siting so that states have a voice in the process. Until then, I will fight to ensure that Yucca Mountain remains nothing but a hole in the ground.”
Funding for licensing activities at Yucca Mountain was included in the Trump Administration’s Budget Request for the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Cortez Masto sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 17, 2018 to express her strong opposition to the inclusion of funds for Yucca Mountain and reiterated her insistence that consent-based siting be at the forefront of any consideration in the United States Senate towards any solutions regarding the long-term storage of nuclear waste. Cortez Masto also introduced legislation on consent-based siting that would 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.