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Yucca Mountain not included in federal spending bill

Updated May 1, 2017 - 5:00 pm

WASHINGTON — A broad spending bill to fund the federal government through September does not include money for licensing the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository, Nevada lawmakers said Monday.

A bipartisan agreement on the omnibus spending bill, which funds the government through the start of the next fiscal year, contains no money for Yucca Mountain, Rep. Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, said in a statement.

“I worked to keep funds for this failed project out of the omnibus and will continue to fight any attempt to revive it,” Titus said in a statement.

“While today’s news is a positive step in the right direction, the fight is far from over,” added Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.

Rep. Ruben Kihuen and Rep. Jacky Rosen, both Las Vegas Democrats, also issued statements saying Yucca Mountain funding was not included in the omnibus bill that will fund the government for the remaining five months of fiscal year 2017. Both the House and Senate are expected to pass the $1 trillion measure by Friday to avoid a government shutdown.

That doesn’t mean the state is out of the picture to host the permanent repository for the nation’s high-level radioactive waste.

President Donald Trump has proposed $120 million for licensing the waste facility and to create a robust interim storage program for fiscal year 2018, which begins Oct. 1.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee also is writing legislation that would revive Yucca Mountain. The facility approximately 100 miles northwest was designated in 1987 as the repository for nuclear waste generated by energy producing plants nationwide.

President Barack Obama defunded development in 2012.

Trump has placed money back into the 2018 budget to complete the licensing process, which experts said last week could take as long as four years.

Contact Gary Martin at 202-662-7390 or gmartin@reviewjournal.com. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.

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