Nuke waste panel steered clear of Nevada race

As it was getting organized in 2010, the blue ribbon commission on nuclear waste considered traveling to Nevada.

But the idea was shelved when commissioners realized they would be parachuting right into the midst of that year's volatile U.S. Senate race between Sen. Harry Reid and Sharron Angle, according to panel member Phil Sharp.

The last thing the commission needed was to be accused of injecting Yucca Mountain controversy into the campaign, and so it decided to steer clear, Sharp said this morning during a break in a conference sponsored by the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management.

At the time, Sharp said, the thinking was: "If we go to Nevada now, one side or the other will accuse of us of having gotten involved in that Senate election, and we weren't going to come close to that."