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Yucca Mountain Legislative Proposals — 2019


January 31, 2019 — Can We Drill A Hole Deep Enough For Our Nuclear Waste? — Yes we can! And it was just demonstrated. And it seems to have some bipartisan support. The technology used was actually developed to frack natural gas and oil wells, but Elizabeth Muller understands that it could dispose of nuclear waste as well. The Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Deep Isolation knows this is a great way to dispose of this small, but bizarre, waste stream —

January 30, 2019 — DOE secretly shipped plutonium from South Carolina to Nevada — The U.S. Department of Energy disclosed Wednesday that it already has shipped one-half metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium from South Carolina to the Nevada National Security Site. The Justice Department notified a federal judge in Reno the government had already trucked the radioactive material to the site 70 miles north of Las Vegas when Nevada filed a request for an injunction to block the move in November. Department lawyers said in a nine-page filing that the previously classified information about the shipment from South Carolina can be disclosed now because enough time has passed to protect national security

January 15, 2019 — GUEST COLUMN: By Judy Treichel: First step to a solution on nuclear waste: End Yucca Mountain — There is an interesting phenomenon at the Department of Energy when it comes to the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. When a new concept for getting rid of waste is proposed, the reaction from the department is: “Our policy is Yucca Mountain. That’s the law.” But when someone suggests abandoning Yucca Mountain, the reaction is: “We can’t do that without a viable alternative.” This is a circular dilemma, going nowhere — Las Vegas Sun


February 28, 2019 — [Nevada Governor] Sisolak seeks meeting with Trump on Yucca and secret plutonium shipment — After pointedly skipping White House events last week with the National Governors Association, Gov. Steve Sisolak wants to meet with President Donald Trump to talk about efforts to build a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain and a secret plutonium shipment to the state —

February 10, 2019 — OPINION: With shifty plutonium shipment, radioactive waste fight gets even uglier — By John L. Smith

February 01, 2019 — Nuclear waste burial fund grows to $43 billion, but DOE has not buried an ounce of spent fuel — A U.S. Department of Energy fund to pay for the eventual disposal of nuclear waste has been earning $1.5 billion in interest each year — totaling a whopping $43.4 billion in 2018 — even as millions of pounds of radioactive waste pile up all over America in want of a permanent home. The DOE piggy bank, dubbed the Nuclear Waste Fund, is invested in securities and earmarked for permanent disposal of spent fuel generated by commercial reactors such as San Onofre and Diablo Canyon. The fund’s most recent audit shows its value actually is down from 2016’s $46 billion — Print PDF


March 28, 2019 — Senate committee wants Yucca Mountain decision now — WASHINGTON — A Trump administration proposal to open Yucca Mountain and other interim sites for nuclear waste storage got a friendly reception Wednesday from key Senate lawmakers who vowed to break a 30-year impasse that has left spent radioactive fuel stockpiled across the country. Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on energy were in agreement to push the development of interim storage sites until the impasse between the House and Senate over the development of Yucca Mountain can be resolved — Las Vegas Review Journal [Print PDF]

March 16, 2019 — Startup promotes permanent nuclear waste storage — A small startup company in Berkeley, California, with connections to scientists, university professors, industry experts and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs is marketing a method to permanently store nuclear waste, tapping advanced drilling technology used for years by the gas and oil industries. Storage of the highly radioactive waste would be permanent — unlike the options currently available around the world — and the method is being pitched as far less expensive than development of a deep geologic repository such as Yucca Mountain in Nevada [Print PDF]

March 11, 2019 — Trump FY2020 budget seeks $116 million to restart Yucca licensing process — President Donald Trump requested $116 million in his fiscal 2020 budget blueprint for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to restart the process to greenlight the construction of a national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. “The Budget also demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to nuclear waste management by supporting the implementation of a robust interim storage program and restarting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing proceeding for the Yucca Mountain geologic repository,” the budget said —

March 07, 2019 — Jobs, not waste: Measure seeks alternative uses for Yucca Mountain — Members of Nevada’s congressional delegation have continued to file legislation aimed at Yucca Mountain. Sen. Jacky Rosen and Rep. Susie Lee, along with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Reps. Mark Amodei and Steven Horsford, introduced the Jobs, Not Waste Act, which would put a hold on any action on the Yucca Mountain site. The act would prohibit the energy secretary from moving on essentially any action related to the Yucca Mountain site before the director of the Office of Management and Budget conducts a study on the economic benefits of alternative uses of the site, and Congress holds a hearing on the findings — Las Vegas Sun

March 05, 2019 — Nevada's Democratic lawmakers reintroduced legislation today that would make it more difficult for the controversial Yucca Mountain project to go forward in the state. The bill would require that states give written consent for any expenditures from the Nuclear Waste Fund by the federal government for the purpose of the disposal of commercial nuclear waste — as reported by E&ENEWSPM [Press Coverage — TheNevadaIndependent]


April 30, 2019 — As Nuclear Waste Piles Up, Private Companies Pitch New Ways To Store It — Congress is once again debating how to dispose of the country's growing inventory of nuclear waste. Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso is proposing legislation that would jump start licensing hearings for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage site in Nevada. The Trump administration also is asking Congress for money to resume work on that decades old project — NPR 4 Minutes —— SEE Map

April 28, 2019 — [Nevada Goverrnor] Sisolak reiterates Nevada opposition to Yucca nuclear storage — WASHINGTON — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak sent a letter Tuesday underscoring the state’s opposition to nuclear waste storage to the chairman and ranking member of a Senate panel hearing — [More Coverage — Nevada Capitol News]

April 24, 2019 — Hearing set for Senate bill to restart Yucca Mountain licensing — WASHINGTON - A Senate hearing will be held next week on a bill that would jump start licensing hearings on the Department of Energy's application to build a permanent nuclear repository —

April 24, 2019 — Barrasso Releases Discussion Draft Legislation to Address Nuclear Waste — WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), released the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2019 discussion draft. The discussion draft provides practical reforms to the nation’s nuclear waste management policy to ensure the federal government’s legal obligations to dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste are fulfilled —

April 16, 2019 — Las Vegas Casino, Tourism Execs Urge Congress to Block Yucca Mountain — Top casino and tourism executives in Nevada on Monday told Congress that moving forward with the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository could be devastating for the state's economic future —

April 11, 2019 — New Mexico Is Divided Over The 'Perfect Site' To Store Nation's Nuclear Waste — Thirty-five miles out of Carlsbad, in the pancake-flat desert of southeast New Mexico, there's a patch of scrub-covered dirt that may offer a fix - albeit temporarily - to one of the nation's most vexing and expensive environmental problems: What to do with our nuclear waste? — NPR

April 10, 2019 Energy Secretary Says Yucca Mountain Project is Moving Forward — Energy Secretary Rick Perry says Yucca Mountain will go forward. President Trump's allocated $116 million for the Department of Energy to restart licensing for the dumpsite, despite pushback by Nevada lawmakers — KOH AM Raido

April 09, 2019 GOP Whip Scalise and a dozen House Republicans push for restarting Yucca licensing — Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and more than a dozen other House Republicans, including Rep. John Shimkus, voiced their support for providing $116 million in federal funds to restart the licensing process to build a national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain — The Nevada Independent

April 09, 2019 — Yucca Mountain advocates pursue more nuke waste funds — WASHINGTON - Yucca Mountain advocates pushed Tuesday to get a House spending panel to double a White House proposal for federal funds to jump start licensing hearings for the proposed nuclear —

April 08, 2019 — MY VIEW Do not send 50 years of spent nuclear fuel to New Mexico — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering a proposal by Holtec International to build a large nuclear waste storage site in New Mexico, between Carlsbad and Hobbs. Holtec specializes in equipment to monitor and store spent nuclear fuel santaf Fe

April 06, 2019 — Tribe gathers to honor legacy of environmental activist and 'Dry Creek cowboy' Russell Jim — WHITE SWAN, Wash. -- A ceremonial air of reverence hung in the air, along with the smoky-sweet after-tinge of burned sage, at the Mt. Adams Community Center in White Swan on Saturday as more than 100 people gathered to release their mourning and honor the life of Russell Jim, a Yakama leader and environmental activist who fought against the unsafe disposal of nuclear waste on reservation land

April 04, 2019 — Shimkus calls for Nevada to make case against Yucca Mountain before nuclear regulator — Illinois Republican Rep. John Shimkus, a champion of building a national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, sent a letter Wednesday to Yucca opponent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto that called for the state to plead its case before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission —

April 02, 2019 — Despite senator’s concerns, Perry says ‘Yucca Mountain is the law’ — U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto raised concerns at a U.S. Senate hearing today about the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump outside Las Vegas, including its proximity to Nellis Air Force Base and earthquake activity. But at a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said that “Yucca Mountain is the law. I’m going to follow the law” — Las Vegas Sun [More Coverage]


May 27, 2019 — Tennessee senator ready to force showdown on Yucca Mountain — WASHINGTON — The fate of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository could be decided in the Senate this year where Sen. Lamar Alexander said he will seek an up or down vote on the Nevada site before he writes spending legislation to revive the project — [Print PDF]

May 26, 2019 — EDITORIAL: Suitable nuclear waste storage has been found, and it’s not in Nevada — Nevadans, here’s an easy way to help protect our health and safety, our environment and our economy: Urge the policymakers in your area to read James Conca’s recent column in Forbes. Conca is a scientist and an expert on the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository — in fact, he was among the original authors of the site’s license application to operate as a storage facility. But based on three decades of scientific study of the site, Conca says, it’s now abundantly clear that Yucca Mountain is a terrible idea — Las Vegas Sun

May 24, 2019 — Long-Running Yucca Mountain Debate Still Center of Nuclear Waste Fight — It's been more than thirty years since Yucca Mountain in Nevada was picked as the nation's nuclear waste site, and the state has been fighting the project ever since. Under President Obama, it got its wish. Fast forward to the Trump administration, and that long-running debate is back on the table . . . There's also a big elephant in the room: trust--or lack of it. Abby Johnson works with neighboring Eureka County, which is neutral on the project. "With above and underground nuclear weapons testing, people in Nevada had already experienced being lied to by the federal government, and had had their families poisoned by fallout from the atomic bombs," she says. — [4.41]

May 21, 2019 — Nevada delegation wins a round in fight over Yucca funding — The Nevada delegation scored a victory Tuesday in the decades-old fight over nuclear waste funding. The House Appropriations Committee voted down a Republican amendment that would have provided funding to continue the licensing process for the planned federal repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District. The amendment narrowly failed with 27 to 25 vote — [More Coverage]

May 17, 2019 — Bill to amend nuclear waste policy introduced in the House — A bill introduced this week in the U.S. House of Representatives would amend the nation’s policy on nuclear waste. The Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2019 (H.R. 2699) — introduced by Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and John Shimkus (R-IL) — would assist in the resolution of the pending permanent repository license to determine if the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site can be licensed and constructed. It would also direct the Department of Energy to move forward with a temporary storage program to consolidate spent nuclear fuel from sites with a decommissioned reactor while work on the Yucca Mountain repository progresses. Additionally, it would reform the financing mechanism to protect ratepayers and assure the Department of Energy (DOE) has adequate funding to construct and operate a multi-generational infrastructure project —

May 16, 2019 — DOE budget bill triggers Yucca Mountain fight — Whether to provide funding for the licensing of a national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain will be among the top issues under debate next week when the U.S. House Appropriations Committee takes up the annual funding bill for the Department of Energy. “I think that we’ll have a big discussion about that in full committee and maybe on the floor,” said Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who is chairman of the Appropriations Committee’s Energy and Water Subcommittee —

Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff tour Yucca Mountain. Courtesy Nuclear Regulatory Commission. May 15, 2019 — Annual DOE funding bill includes no funds for Yucca Mountain — A bill to fund the Department of Energy does not include any funding to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, according to the text of the legislation released by the House Appropriations Committee. Release of the measure comes after Rep. Dina Titus met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week to talk about keeping Yucca Mountain funding out of the bill. Both Reps. Steven Horsford and Susie Lee also attended the meeting —

May 14, 2019 — Ohio town worries about safety after radioactive contamination is found at middle school— (CNN)Are we safe? That's the concern that's been in the back of neighbors' minds when they look at the looming Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Pike County, Ohio, Jennifer Chandler said. "It looks like they make clouds there," the Piketon village councilwoman thought as a child, seeing steam coming out of the stacks. "When I was growing up, I didn't have any idea what they did." The US Department of Energy plant was built to produce enriched uranium . . . CNN

May 14, 2019 — Nuclear Waste Disposal -- Isn't Science Supposed To Reduce The Uncertainty? — One of science’s strongest abilities is to be able to reduce uncertainties in a problem. If left to itself, science usually does this very well. But it’s rarely left to itself. Science exists within the larger framework of society and has to deal with the realities of politics, economics, history and even religion —

May 14, 2019 — Some in Nye County say Yucca Mountain could be a blessing. Others aren’t convinced — fficials in Nye County have long supported moving forward with plans to build a proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, located in the southern portion of the county and approximately 90 miles from Las Vegas. But those who live in the region immediately surrounding Yucca are split on whether storing approximately 70,000 tons of nuclear waste there is a good idea. Spanning more than 18,000 square miles, Nye County is the largest county by area in Nevada, with a population of 44,200 — Las Vegas Sun [Print PDF]

May 10, 2019 — Perry Supports DOE Reconsideration of High-Level Waste Definition — Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Thursday voiced support for his agency’s potential reinterpretation of the definition of high-level radioactive waste. The Department of Energy proposed the reinterpretation in October and is now reviewing public comments submitted through Jan. 9 on the matter z —

May 09, 2019 — GUEST COLUMN: Jacky Rosen: I refuse to allow GOP leaders to revive Yucca Mountain — The misguided efforts of some members of Congress to revive Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository pose a serious threat to the health and safety of Nevadans, and our national security. Let me be clear: Nevadans wholeheartedly oppose becoming the nation’s nuclear dumping ground, and I’m working each day alongside my colleagues in Nevada’s delegation to stop these new efforts — Las Vegas Sun

May 07, 2019 — Nevada Warns of Impacts of Rad Waste Disposal Bill — The proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada could conceivably end up receiving 150,000 metric tons of radioactive waste by the second half of this century, according to a Nevada state government analysis of a proposed U.S. Senate bill to speed up that project. The April 29 memo from Bob Halstead, executive director of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects, is another salvo in the state’s decades-long fight against the planned Department of Energy disposal site. In this case, the target is legislation pending from Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wy.) —

May 04, 1019 — Startup promotes permanent nuclear waste storage via miles-long drilling — A small startup company in Berkeley, California, with connections to scientists, university professors, industry experts and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs is marketing a method to permanently store nuclear waste, tapping advanced drilling technology used for years by the gas and oil industries —

May 03, 2019 — Presidential candidates join Nevada’s nuclear waste fight — LAS VEGAS — Nevada’s long crusade to block the creation of a national nuclear-waste dump at Yucca Mountain has pitted the state against a bipartisan group of lawmakers across the country, but a band of presidential hopefuls is joining the early voting state’s cause. Nevada’s senior senator, Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, has legislation that would bar the federal government from moving nuclear waste into a state without first receiving permission from the governor and local officials. Last year, Nevada’s two senators were the only sponsors of the measure. This year, they’ve got company in Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts —

Sen. Jacky Rosen testifying May 1 against restarting the Yucca Mountain siting process. (Rosen Senate office photo). May 01, 2019 — “We don’t even produce nuclear energy” – Nevada senators fight Yucca at hearing — Nevada senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen testified against the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2019 during a hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) Tuesday. The measure would restart the process of attempting to license nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain. Cortez Masto told the committee people “falsely” believe Yucca Mountain is prepared for nuclear waste disposal, adding that there are “no waste disposal tunnels. No waste handling facilities. No monitoring infrastructure. No containment infrastructure. No railroad infrastructure needed for transporting waste into the site.” —

May 01, 2019 — Senators Reintroduce Nuclear Waste Management Bill — A trio of U.S. senators on Tuesday took a third swing at legislation that would remove management of the federal nuclear waste program from the Department of Energy in hopes of finally driving it forward. The 2019 version of the Nuclear Waste Administration Act appears identical to the iterations of the bill introduced in 2013 and 2015. Both those measures died in committee —

May 01, 2019 — Nevada urges GOP to drop new push on nuclear waste dump — WASHINGTON — Nevada lawmakers said Wednesday that senators should end a renewed effort to create a national nuclear-waste dump at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain because the ensuing political battle would only delay a permanent solution to the country’s nuclear waste storage problem —


June 27, 2019 — Cortez Masto pushes to get Nevada consent over Yucca Mountain in Senate bill — Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto has received assurances from the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that she would consider changes to nuclear waste legislation that would protect Nevada from remaining the default site for a national repository. “What I’m simply asking is that the state of Nevada be included in the framework of this legislation to be treated equally and fairly alongside all the other states,” Cortez Masto said at a committee hearing Thursday. “That’s all we’re asking” —

June 27, 2019 — Full Committee Hearing to Examine Storage of Nuclear Waste and the Nuclear Waste Administration Act The hearing will be held on Thursday, June 27, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. EDT in Room 366 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. The purpose of the hearing is to examine options for the interim and long-term storage of nuclear waste and to consider S. 1234, the Nuclear Waste Administration Act. The hearing will be webcast live on the committee’s website, and an archived video will be available shortly after the hearing concludes. Witness testimony will be available on the website at the start of the hearing.— senate.go

June 27, 2019 — Proposed nuclear storage consent bill excludes Yucca Mountain — A proposed Senate bill requiring local and state consent for a nuclear waste repository excludes Nevada’s Yucca Mountain site from the process. The Nuclear Waste Administration Act would require a state’s governor, affected tribes and local governments to OK any proposed site. But it would not apply to “any proceeding or any application for any license or permit pending,” which would exempt Yucca Mountain, said Robert Halstead, executive director of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects — Las Vegas Sun

June 24, 2019 — EDITORIAL: We’ve been warned: Nevada is no place for nation’s radioactive waste — When a train derailed Wednesday near the small town of Wells in northeast Nevada, it set off a scare as authorities reported that it was carrying military explosives and investigated whether it contained hazardous materials and reported that cars containing military explosives were within close proximity to the accident site. Officials shut down Interstate 80 as a plume of white powdery substance wafted from one of the cars — Las Vegas Sun [Print PDF]

June 22, 2019 — House approved $1 trillion spending bill, with no Yucca funding, while Senate blocked Saudi arms sales — The House last week approved a nearly $1 trillion appropriation package, which Nevada Democrats praised for not including any funding for storing nuclear waste in the state, and also opened debate on a second $383 billion package that includes $86.6 billion for transportation programs —

June 20, 2019 — House Sends 2020 Energy Spending Bill to Senate on Party Line — The bill would provide no money for DOE's application to license Yucca Mountain in Nevada with the NRC as a permanent civil-defense nuclear waste —

June 20, 2019 — Nuclear Waste Storage Concerns Raised By Panel Members During Santa Fe Forum Wednesday — Multiple concerns were raised by panel members Wednesday evening during a forum on nuclear waste in the state of New Mexico hosted by the Santa Fe Democratic Party Platform and Resolutions Committee at the Center for Progress and Justice in Santa Fe. Panelists were Rep. Christine Chandler, State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard, Don Hancock and Sally Rodgers —

June 19, 2019 — The Crushing Cost Of Nuclear Waste Is Weighing On Taxpayers — “The Maine Yankee nuclear power plant hasn’t produced a single watt of energy in more than two decades, but it cost U.S. taxpayers about $35 million this year.” So begins a powerful report this week about the crushing cost of nuclear waste storage by the Los Angeles Times —

June 14, 2019 — Congressman hopes taking DOE out of Yucca process will bring Nevada to the table — The stalemate over building a national nuclear waste repository in Nevada could possibly be overcome if the Department of Energy was no longer the lead federal agency on the project, experts and members of Congress suggested at a House nuclear waste hearing —

June 12, 2019 — House Committee Rejects Another Shot at Yucca Mountain Funding — The House Rules Committee on Tuesday turned back the latest legislative attempt to appropriate funds for licensing the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada. A bipartisan group of five lawmakers proposed to provide $15 million via an amendment to H.R. 2740, a “minibus” funding bill for fiscal 2020 encompassing several smaller measures already approved by the House Appropriations Committee. That includes the energy and water development appropriations legislation that passed out of committee in May. However, the Rules Committee voted 7-4 against adding the amendment to the bill as it heads for debate on the House floor today —

June 12, 2019 — [NV Governor] Sisolak warns House panel against advancing Yucca bill ahead of hearing — Ahead of a House hearing on nuclear waste legislation, including consideration of a bill to restart the licensing process for building a national repository at Yucca Mountain, Gov. Steve Sisolak sent a letter to the panel underscoring his opposition to storing waste in Nevada. “My position, and that of the State of Nevada, remains identical to the position of Nevada’s past five governors: The State of Nevada opposes the project based on scientific, technical, and legal merits,” Sisolak wrote in a June 7 letter to Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone of New Jersey and ranking Republican Greg Walden —

June 10, 2019 — APPROPRIATIONS, Minibus could spark fights over Yucca, Paris pullout — Fights over reviving the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility and whether the United States should remain in the Paris climate accord could be brewing this week as the House considers a nearly $1 trillion fiscal 2020 spending package —

June 10, 2019 — A rare tour of the tunnel that is ground zero for a nuclear waste controversy — About 100 miles outside Las Vegas, deep in a remote patch of desert, is a $19 billion hole in the ground. That's how much it has cost to fight over and build a five-mile test tunnel under Yucca Mountain []

June 07, 2019 —US DOE changes waste interpretation — The US Department of Energy (DOE) has published a new interpretation of high-level radioactive waste (HLW) in which reprocessing waste streams are defined by their radiological characteristics rather than solely on how they were made — [View Map] [More Coverage — NRDC]

June 07, 2019 — Governor opposes radioactive waste storage in New Mexico — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will not support a plan to bring all the nation’s high-level radioactive commercial waste to New Mexico, a reversal from the previous administration’s position and a potential blow to nuclear industry advocates. In a letter sent Friday to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Kristine Svinicki, chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Lujan Grisham said the proposal poses “unacceptable risks to New Mexicans” — particularly to the ranching and oil and gas industries —

June 06, 2019 — Matsui Introduces the STORE Nuclear Fuel Act — Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-6) introduced H.R. 3136, the Storage and Transportation of Residual and Excess (STORE) Nuclear Fuel Act. This bill creates a legislative framework to initiate a consolidated interim storage program at the Department of Energy. It allows for both active and decommissioned nuclear power plants, with priority given to decommissioned plants, to move spent nuclear fuel to interim storage facilities. [Note: The legislation, H.R. 3136, avoids the controversial Yucca Mountain site, breaking the legislation connection between the stalled Nevada repository and interim storage. House-passed nuclear waste legislation she co-sponsored with Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) last year would have addressed both interim and long-term storage —


July 30, 2019 — Horsford: Education is key to gaining allies in fight against Yucca Mountain — Nevada won’t be able to kill the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain “by just saying no,” Rep. Steven Horsford told a Las Vegas audience on Monday. He said education was key, which was partly why he planned to take part in a tour of the mountain this week with other lawmakers — Las Vegas Sun

July 30, 2019 — All spent nuclear fuel in the U.S. will soon end up in one place — Nuclear power is sometimes touted as a solution to looming climate catastrophe: Reliable on cloudy and windless days, it produces electricity without releasing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, at least once power plants are up and running. While the world looks to shift away from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources, global demand continues to climb. Nuclear fission currently generates about 11 percent of electricity worldwide every year, and 20 percent in the United States . . .

July 18, 2019 — Nevada: Feds should restudy seismic risk at Yucca Mountain — LAS VEGAS – Nevada’s governor and congressional delegation are pointing to earthquakes this month in the California desert and calling for the U.S. Energy Department to look again at seismic risks of burying the nation’s most radioactive nuclear waste at a site in the Mojave Desert — AP

July 17, 2019 — [Press Release] Nevada Governor Sisolak and members of Nevada’s federal delegation send letter to U.S. Dept. of Energy requesting they reexamine the seismic hazards at the Yucca Mountain site

July 09, 2019 — Earthquakes rattle Yucca Mountain debate — WASHINGTON — Recent California tremors that rattled Las Vegas were seized upon Tuesday by proponents and opponents of a federal plan to store nuclear waste in a seismic zone in Southern Nevada that includes Yucca Mountain — Las Vegas Review Journal

July 09, 2019 — State official: Consent-based nuclear waste storage bill may be changed to include Yucca Mountain — roposed Yucca Mountain repository, according to Bob Halstead, executive director of the state’s Agency for Nuclear Projects. He said U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, was working on an amendment to the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2019, a bill co-sponsored by Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Dianne Feinstein, D-California, that would require multiple local approvals before the creation of a nuclear waste repository in any area. As introduced, however, the bill does not apply to Yucca Mountain — Las Vegas Sun

July 01, 2019 — Guest Column: Proponents of nuclear waste dump have a new strategy: Just buy us off — A new tactic is coming to light in the decades-long effort by other states to get a nuclear waste dump rammed into Nevada. And like other strategies in that effort, it’s astonishing — in a bad way — Las Vegas Sun


August 31, 2019 — Yucca Mountain advocate John Shimkus retiring from Congress — WASHINGTON: A key congressional proponent of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada announced Friday that he would not seek reelection, becoming the latest Republican in . . .

August 15, 2019 — Native American tribe claims nuclear waste can’t be stored on its land — To the Western Shoshone, most of Nevada isn’t Nevada. At least not in the current sense. More than 150 years after the first treaty between the Western Shoshone and the federal government was signed, the two nations disagree on the outcome — the Shoshone say they never turned over their land — Las Vegas Sun

August 05, 2019 — Nevada's veto power a sticking point in congressional negotiations on Yucca Mountain — House proponents of storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain are unwilling to negotiate with members of the state’s congressional delegation over whether to give the state veto power over building the repository. But key members of the Senate, led by Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, who are frustrated with the lack of progress on the long-delayed project, are working with Nevada’s senators to pass nuclear waste legislation that would include a consent provision for the state —


September 27, 2019 — House subcommittee approves Yucca Mountain bill — WASHINGTON: A House subcommittee passed a bill Thursday that would authorize preparation of Yucca Mountain in Nevada to store nuclear waste . . .
[More coverage — Bloomberg News]

September 12, 2019 — No money for Yucca Mountain project in Senate budget — WASHINGTON: A $49 billion spending bill for the Department of Energy was unanimously approved by a Senate committee on Thursday without money to revive the licensing process for the Yucca — Las Vegas Review Journal

September 09, 2019 — Forum addresses ecological, tribal opposition to Yucca Mountain — Annette Magnus will tell you her grandfather’s time spent working at the Nevada Test Site in Nye County ultimately led to his death from cancer. Thousands of workers employed at the test site, about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas, were exposed to radiation from nuclear weapons tests . . . Las Vegas Sun

September 03, 2019 — Yucca Mountain unlikely to get funding amid focus on 2020 election, experts say — With the political chaos of the approaching election, there is little chance the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository will receive funding this fiscal year, energy professionals say. Speaking at the Radwaste Summit, a conference on radioactive waste with both private and public participants, Energy Communities Alliance Executive Director Seth Kirshenberg said political disagreements will likely continue to stop any movement on Yucca Mountain this year. The 2020 election, he and others said, is also an impediment to legislating as normal — Las Vegas Sun


October 31, 2019 — Inside secret underground tunnels storing nuclear waste for 100,000 years — The Onkalo tunnel will be the final resting place for spent nuclear fuel 450 beneath the surface of Olkiluoto island, 143 miles northwest of Helsinki. The tunnel has been designed to survive without future maintenance for an astonishing 100,000 years —

October 22, 2019 — Nevada officials anticipate Perry’s replacement to have same views on Yucca Mountain — Energy Secretary Rick Perry's departure from the Trump administration on Dec. 1 isn't breaking the heart of any Nevadans involved in fighting the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. And President Donald Trump's announced replacement for the post is expected to continue Perry's renewed push to make Nevada the nation's nuclear waste dump — Las Vegas Sun

October 15, 2019 — U.S. authorities and critics split on whether untested technology has made nuclear shipments safer — RENO, NEVADA: The plutonium core for the first atomic weapon to be detonated, in 1945, was taken from Los Alamos National Laboratory to a test site in the New Mexico desert in the backseat of a U.S. Army sedan. Officials put other bomb parts inside a metal container, packed that into a wooden crate and secured it in the steel bed of a truck, under a tarp, the U.S. Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration says in a historical account — AP

October 06, 2019 State official lists old, new reasons why Yucca Mountain should not be licensed — [Q+A: BOB HALSTEAD] ob Halstead, the executive director for Nevada’s Agency for Nuclear Projects, spends much of his time fighting a push to store all of the country’s nuclear waste in Nevada, a state that produces no waste of its own. The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, a seemingly eternal issue in the Silver State, is inescapable for Halstead as well. Yucca Mountain, about 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas . . . Las Vegas Sun [Print PDF]


November 26, 2019 — The Staggering Timescales Of Nuclear Waste Disposal — High-level nuclear waste consists largely of spent fuel from nuclear reactors. Though it makes up a small proportion of overall waste volumes, it accounts for the majority of radioactivity. This most potent form of nuclear waste, according to some, needs to be safely stored for up to a million years. Yes, 1 million years – in other words, a far longer stretch of time than the period since Neanderthals cropped up. This is an estimate of the length of time needed to ensure radioactive decay — [Print PDF]

November 21, 2019 — Yucca bill advanced by panel not likely to see House floor — The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation that would restart the licensing process for building a national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, but the measure, which is opposed by the state’s congressional delegation, is not expected to get a vote on the House floor. The bill, which is sponsored by California Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney and long-time Yucca proponent Illinois Republican Rep. John Shimkus, was approved on a unanimous voice vote. The panel has 55 members — (More press coverage)

November 18, 2019 — Yucca Mountain bill in House faces steep climb — WASHINGTON — A bill to allow interim storage of nuclear waste in Nevada and the completion of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository will come before a House panel on Tuesday —

Energy secretary nominee Dan Brouillette during his confirmation hearing yesterday. Francis Chung/E&E New November 15, 2019 — President's Pick For Energy Sec Talks Yucca Mountain . . . Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette also said under questioning from Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., at a committee hearing on his nomination in Washington D.C. that the department won’t take any action to restart efforts to build a nuclear waste repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain before Congress decides whether to finance the effort — AP [Print PDF]

November 07, 2019 — Panel to discuss state’s latest plans to fight nuclear waste storage in Nevada — The Nevada Commission on Nuclear Projects will discuss its biennial report on the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository and recommendations to the governor and Legislature at 1 p.m. at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in downtown Las Vegas — Las Vegas Sun


December 09, 2019 — Life after Yucca Mountain: The time has come to reset US nuclear waste policy — After decades of inaction and stalemate, there are small but significant signs that the U.S. government may finally be ready to meet its legal commitment to manage and dispose of the more than 80,000 metric tons of used nuclear fuel at 74 operating and shut-down commercial nuclear reactors sites in 35 states across the country. The signs of progress include . . .

December 07, 2019 — Oil & Gas Leaks Crocodile Tears Over Nuclear Waste Storage — In the absence of a permanent disposal site for America’s commercial spent nuclear fuel (SNF), and the lousy characteristics of Yucca Mountain, the obvious and best path forward is to put all of the waste into dry cask storage (see figure above) at a single centralized storage facility in an optimal place with respect to population and the environment —

December 03, 2019 — Senate confirms Trump’s new energy secretary — WASHINGTON: The Trump administration has a new head of energy policy, no thanks to Nevada’s senators. The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly Monday to confirm the nomination of Dan Brouillette as the new secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy. He succeeds former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who stepped down Sunday. Both of Nevada’s senators — Democrats Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen — opposed Brouillette’s nomination, as did 13 other senators. Seventy voted for Brouillette, who has served as deputy secretary of the department since August 2017. Fifteen were absent —

December 02, 2019 — Dan Brouillette confirmed without support of Nevada senators — WASHINGTON: Despite assurances about Yucca Mountain and the removal of plutonium secretly shipped to Nevada, the state’s two Democratic senators voted against Dan Brouillette, who was confirmed . . .

December 01, 2019 — Yucca Mountain dormant, but definitely not dead — WASHINGTON: Yucca Mountain may be dormant, but it never really dies. While legislation to restart the stalled licensing process for the nation’s proposed nuclear waste dump appears to be . . .

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