Nevada legislators OK $1.4 million to fight Yucca

CARSON CITY — A panel of lawmakers on Wednesday approved nearly $1.4 million to continue Nevada’s fight against Yucca Mountain despite the nuclear waste repository project being described by some critics as “the walking dead.”

The requests for funding for the Nevada attorney general’s office and the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects were supported by the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee.

The requests had previously been approved by the state Board of Examiners, including Gov. Brian Sandoval, who said in July it is not the time for Nevada to take its “eye off the ball” despite the bleak prospects for building a repository at the site.

The funding is being sought because of a federal court ruling requiring a licensing proceeding for Yucca Mountain to continue under the jurisdiction of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Bob Halstead, executive director of the Agency for Nuclear Projects, said 80 percent of the funding is to evaluate a safety report that is being released by NRC staff in the coming weeks. Most of the remainder is to evaluate a supplemental environmental impact statement addressing groundwater issues.

The only no vote on the request came from Assemblyman Randy Kirner, R-Reno.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900. Find him on Twitter: @seanw801.