CARSON CITY, NV - September 20, 2022
Today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects announced the filing of a new legal motion to bring an end to failed federal plans to construct a repository for the nation’s highly radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, 65 miles northwest of Clark County’s populated areas.
The motion is being filed before the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It asks the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to resume the adjudicatory portion of the licensing procedures so that Nevada may take specific additional steps aimed at stopping the project.
As a companion to the legal motion, today, the State launched a new webpage with resources recapping the failed policies that led to the designation of the Yucca Mountain Project and the geographic flaws in the site.
“It is time to take the lessons learned from the Yucca Mountain experiment and chalk them up to experience,” Governor Sisolak said. “This is a fight that Nevada has battled since 1987. The past three Presidential Administrations have agreed that Yucca Mountain is unworkable. It is time for this Administration and the Department of Energy to follow through and support the case made by Nevada’s leaders, legislators, experts and legal team.”
“I’ve opposed every attempt to revive the failed Yucca Mountain project, and it’s time we take this unsuitable site off the table once and for all,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. “I support Nevada’s efforts to end the licensing process for Yucca Mountain, and I will continue to work with all stakeholders at the federal, state, local, and Tribal levels to find a safe, workable, and consent-based alternative.”
“For years, I have been fighting alongside our delegation to prevent Nevada from ever becoming the nation’s dumping ground for nuclear waste because it threatens our state’s security, economy, and public health,” said Senator Jacky Rosen. “That’s why I’m strongly supporting Nevada’s actions to finally put an end to Yucca Mountain, taking steps that would block future misguided efforts to try to revive this ill-conceived project against our state’s consent.”
“Nevada doesn’t use nuclear energy; we don’t produce nuclear waste; and we shouldn’t be required to store it,” said Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01). “The State’s motion is a step in the right direction toward putting an end to Yucca Mountain once and for all. I will continue to lead the fight in opposition to this dangerous project to force a nuclear waste dumping ground on Nevada.”
“The residents of Nevada do not want to be a part of a dangerous experiment. Yucca Mountain must not become a national dumping ground of hazardous waste,” said Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04). “It’s beyond time to end the debate on Yucca Mountain and protect the residents in my district and across the state.”
“Year after year, we’ve had to fight to ensure that Nevada does not become our nation’s dumping ground for nuclear waste,” said Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03). “I’m proud to sit on the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water, where I’ve successfully blocked any funding going toward reviving Yucca Mountain, and I have worked with the Department of Energy to secure a commitment to finding consent-based alternatives to the proposed nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain. Now, it’s time to put an end to this failed project once and for all. That’s why I support the state of Nevada’s efforts to end the licensing for Yucca Mountain and to open the door to a productive consent-based solutions for nuclear waste storage.”
Videos and podcasts on the new webpage feature Nevada technical experts and document the project’s flaws, ill-conceived efforts to address site weaknesses with engineered barriers, and the need for nuclear waste and spent fuel solutions that are grounded in a robust consent-based siting process.
Nevada’s staunch bi-partisan opposition to the project and the history behind it is also featured on the webpage in an interview with former Nevada Rep. Jim Bilbray before his death last year about the so-called “Screw Nevada Bill,” that singled out Yucca Mountain as the nation’s sole repository site.
After more than three decades, continuing to pursue a license for the Yucca Mountain Project would expend additional time, millions more taxpayer dollars on a project that Nevada has demonstrated time and again will fail to securely and safely house the nation’s nuclear waste. The motion filed by the State today is the first step towards putting an end to thirty years of failed policy and acting on the need for a more fair, consent-based process to address the nuclear waste disposal needs of the United States.