November 09, 2020

Cortez Masto, Rosen Reiterate Demand for No Yucca Mountain Funding in Letter to Colleagues

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) sent a letter to Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water (E&W) Development to reiterate their annual request that zero funds be appropriated to support licensing activities at the proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository site in any Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 funding measures.

“The Yucca Mountain site is both a geologically and geographically unfit site to house the nation’s nuclear waste, and its selection as the nation’s sole high-level nuclear waste repository was the result of a flawed decision-making process that ignored science and the will of the state,” wrote the Senators. “Nevada will not agree to house the nation’s spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste. If the last three decades have taught us anything, it is that a nuclear waste facility cannot and should not be forced upon an unwilling host state.”


Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen have a strong history opposing storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.

Earlier this year, Senator Cortez Masto pressed Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette and Deputy Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes on this Administration’s plans regarding Yucca Mountain. The Senator also re-introduced the Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act alongside a majority of Nevada’s Congressional Delegation, including Senator Rosen, to ensure the Secretary of Energy obtains written consent from state, local, and tribal leaders before allowing construction of a nuclear waste repository.

Last year, Senator Rosen led the entire Nevada delegation, including Senator Cortez Masto, in introducing the bipartisan Jobs, Not Waste Act. This legislation would prohibit the Secretary of Energy from taking action relating to the licensing, planning, development, or construction of a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain until the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) submits a study to Congress on the economic benefits of alternative uses of the site, and Congress holds a hearing on the benefits of alternative uses.

Senators Rosen and Cortez Masto voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, which included their request of ensuring no funding for Yucca Mountain in the legislative package.

A full copy of the letter can be found HERE.