STEPHENS WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON — Sen. Harry Reid issued a message Friday to gubernatorial candidates in South Carolina who are challenging the Obama administration’s shutdown of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project:
“Hell no, that won’t happen,” he said.
Reid put out a response after South Carolina Republican Nikki Haley said Thursday that if elected she would like to form a coalition with other governors to revive the Nevada repository plan. Her Democratic opponent, Vincent Sheheen, agreed with her.
South Carolina, where nuclear waste is stored at the government-owned Savannah River nuclear complex, has been one of the more militant states pushing back on the administration’s termination of the Yucca site, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, which was accomplished through Reid pressure.
“Nevada is not the nation’s dumping ground and it never will be as long as I have something to say about it,” Reid, the Senate majority leader who is seeking re-election, said in a statement.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to rule soon on whether the Department of Energy’s license application for a nuclear repository can be shelved, a request by the Obama administration that could complete the shutdown.
The project is scheduled to run out of funding at the end of the month.
A blue-ribbon commission created by President Barack Obama is studying alternatives for waste disposal or recycling.