Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) led Members of the Nevada Congressional delegation — including Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Representatives Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), and Susie Lee (D-Nev.) — in expressing their support for Governor Sisolak and the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Project’s new legal motion to terminate federal licensing efforts at the failed Yucca Mountain site. The state of Nevada has also launched a new website featuring information on the technical and environmental issues that make Yucca Mountain an unsuitable repository site.
The motion is being filed before the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). It asks the NRC to resume the adjudicatory portion of the licensing procedures so that Nevada may take specific additional steps aimed at stopping the project.
“I’ve opposed every attempt to revive the failed Yucca Mountain project, and it’s time we take this unsuitable site off the table once and for all,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. “I support Nevada’s efforts to end the licensing process for Yucca Mountain, and I will continue to work with all stakeholders at the federal, state, local, and Tribal levels to find a safe, workable, and consent-based alternative.”
“For years, I have been fighting alongside our delegation to prevent Nevada from ever becoming the nation’s dumping ground for nuclear waste because it threatens our state’s security, economy, and public health,” said Senator Rosen. “That’s why I’m strongly supporting Nevada’s actions to finally put an end to Yucca Mountain, taking steps that would block future misguided efforts to try to revive this ill-conceived project against our state’s consent.”
“Nevada doesn’t use nuclear energy; we don’t produce nuclear waste; and we shouldn’t be required to store it,” said Representative Titus. “The State’s motion is a step in the right direction toward putting an end to Yucca Mountain once and for all. I will continue to lead the fight in opposition to this dangerous project to force a nuclear waste dumping ground on Nevada.”
“The residents of Nevada do not want to be a part of a dangerous experiment. Yucca Mountain must not become a national dumping ground of hazardous waste,” said Representative Horsford. “It’s beyond time to end the debate on Yucca Mountain and protect the residents in my district and across the state.”
“Year after year, we’ve had to fight to ensure that Nevada does not become our nation’s dumping ground for nuclear waste,” said Representative Lee. “I’m proud to sit on the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water, where I’ve successfully blocked any funding going toward reviving Yucca Mountain, and I have worked with the Department of Energy to secure a commitment to finding consent-based alternatives to the proposed nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain. Now, it’s time to put an end to this failed project once and for all. That’s why I support the state of Nevada’s efforts to end the licensing for Yucca Mountain and to open the door to a productive consent-based solutions for nuclear waste storage.”
“It is time to take the lessons learned from the Yucca Mountain experiment and chalk them up to experience,” Governor Sisolak said. “This is a fight that Nevada has battled since 1987. The past three Presidential Administrations have agreed that Yucca Mountain is unworkable. It is time for this Administration and the Department of Energy to follow through and support the case made by Nevada’s leaders, legislators, experts and legal team.”
Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen, along with Representatives Titus, Horsford, and Lee, have all fought to ensure Yucca Mountain remains dead. They’ve re-introduced the Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act to provide state, local, and Tribal governments with a central role in decisions regarding a permanent repository and storage program. Energy Secretary Granholm has repeatedly acknowledged that Yucca Mountain is an unworkable site and expressed her support for a consent-based approach to store the nation’s nuclear waste. These Members of the Nevada delegation have also successfully fought the Trump administration’s efforts to restart the Yucca Mountain licensing process, preventing funds from being included for the failed site in every final appropriations bill.