Monday, January 24, 2000
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Guinn to be first governor to
tour Yucca Mountain

By Jane Ann Morrison Review-Journal

Kenny Guinn today becomes the first Nevada governor to tour Yucca Mountain, something his Democratic predecessors steadfastly refused to do.

Guinn said seeing the site firsthand will help him better communicate the state's opposition to storing nuclear waste there.

Energy Secretary Bill Richardson asked Guinn during one federal hearing whether the governor had ever visited the site.

His Democratic predecessors, Richard Bryan and Bob Miller, have made a point of not touring the nuclear waste site, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

"I feel there will be an increased level of credibility when I speak to Department of Energy officials, including Secretary Richardson, as a result of having personally visited Yucca Mountain," Guinn said.

"I firmly believe it will only strengthen our anti-nuclear waste position."

Guinn will be accompanied by nuclear dump foe Bob Loux, director of the state's Nuclear Projects Office, as well as officials from the Yucca Mountain site characterization office, the Department of Energy, Nellis Air Force Base, Bechtel Nevada and the Remote Sensing Laboratory.

The Republican governor also will tour the Nevada Test Site to look at new scientific and business opportunities there. He will visit Area 18, the location of the proposed Kistler Aerospace Program and the VentureStar project, which is envisioned as the replacement for the Space Shuttle.

The news media were not invited to accompany the governor.