The states fear interim waste storage sites could become permanent, and say Yucca Mountain remains the country’s only designated repository.
The Department of Energy plan would send waste to jurisdictions where state and local governments support interim storage.
Carrie Dann, a Native American land rights activist, Nevada rancher and longtime leader of the Western Shoshone Nation, has died.
President Donald Trump and Congress moved this year to develop interim nuclear waste storage sites, a temporary fix until the 30-year stalemate over Yucca Mountain is settled.
Mark Menezes, a nominee for deputy Energy Department secretary, said the Trump administration has no plans to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, a shift from his testimony in February.
Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette told a Senate committee that the Trump administration was not including money for Yucca Mountain in its budget request.
To win in Nevada, White House hopefuls still must oppose plans to build a repository for 110,000 metric tons of nuclear waste just 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
The Trump administration’s reversal on Yucca Mountain funding is bolstering a Senate bill that would allow the government to store nuclear waste temporarily at private sites while a permanent solution is worked out.
A new bill co-sponsored by Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., would extend whistleblower protection to employees of the Energy Department and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
A House committee will consider a bill Tuesday that would proceed with development of the Yucca Mountain project, but it faces an uncertain future on the floor and in the Senate.