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Nevada senators want Yucca Mountain licensing law repealed

Updated May 14, 2024 - 2:02 pm

Nevada Democratic Sens. Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto introduced a bill that would repeal the law establishing Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository.

The Jobs Not Waste Act would not only repeal a section of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 that includes the licensing proceeding for Yucca Mountain, but it would also require a study to be conducted on the viability of other uses for the mountain located 90 miles from Las Vegas, such as a data center, a command facility or a scientific research center, according to Rosen’s office.

The bill would also require the Department of Energy to reclaim and mitigate any adverse environmental impacts to the site as a result of the application review, according to Rosen’s office.

“Nevada has made it abundantly clear that we will not be the nation’s dumping ground for nuclear waste,” Rosen said in a statement. “I’ve been fighting alongside colleagues on both sides of the aisle for years to prevent Yucca Mountain from moving forward.”

Similar legislation was previously introduced in 2019 and 2018, but it never passed. The re-introduction of the Jobs Not Waste Act comes after some House Republicans spoke in favor of reviving the project in April.

Rosen and Cortez Masto also introduced legislation last year that would would give state, tribal and local officials the ultimate decision-making authority when a nuclear waste repository is proposed in their backyards through the Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act. However, that bill also did not pass.

The senators also send an annual letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee requesting no funding be included in any appropriations bills for Yucca Mountain, according to Rosen’s office.

“Nevadans do not want nuclear waste in our backyards, and any attempt to restart the failed Yucca Mountain project is unacceptable,” Cortez Masto said in a statement. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation with Senator Rosen to ensure no nuclear waste comes to Yucca Mountain and to explore alternative uses that support working families and prioritize the safety of all Nevadans.”

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on X.

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