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RTC to examine travel routes for nuclear waste headed to Yucca Mountain

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee called Thursday for a study on how nuclear waste might travel through Southern Nevada amid concerns that Yucca Mountain could become a repository for the radioactive material.

Along with fighting President Donald Trump’s effort to restart licensing activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada should also help other states wanting to store nuclear waste, Lee said at the close of a board meeting of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.

“We are the third most-active state with earthquakes behind California and Alaska, and I’m totally against moving this poison through our valley,” said Lee, a former Nevada legislator who served on the Committee on High-Level Radioactive Waste.

“It almost seems like if we can’t fight it, then we can support someone else,” Lee said. “We got to get involved in helping someone else get it, rather than sit here to fight to protect ourselves.”

The RTC’s board could receive a report as soon as next month.

Trump set aside $120 million in his federal budget for fiscal year 2018 to restart the license application to permanently store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain — a move that was stopped in 2010 by the Obama administration.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, also an RTC board member, said that the U.S. Conference of Mayors was involved in the discussion surrounding the fate of Yucca Mountain.

Las Vegas City Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian said the general public, nationwide, should be told about potential travel routes for nuclear waste.

“If we can get that out, people will realize it’s not just Nevada that’s in danger,” Tarkanian said. “It’s the entire country where they have to come across to Nevada.”

Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Find @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.

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