Pres. Trump Unveils $1.15 Trillion Budget; Revives Yucca Mountai - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Pres. Trump Unveils $1.15 Trillion Budget; Revives Yucca Mountain Spending

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Nevada Sens. Dean Heller and Catherine Cortez Masto have expressed their opposition towards reviving spending for Yucca Mountain as proposed in President Trump’s new $1.15 trillion budget. 

The Senators sent a letter (below) to Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Thursday. 

The Senators also issued the following statements: 

“As has been stated in the past, Yucca is dead and this reckless proposal will not revive it. Washington needs to understand what Nevada has been saying for years: we will not be the nation’s nuclear waste dump. This project was ill-conceived from the beginning and has already flushed billions of taxpayer dollars down the drain. Members of both parties keep trying to revive this dead project via the budget and appropriations process, but I will continue to fight those efforts,” said Senator Dean Heller.

“Trump’s attempt to revive Yucca Mountain is naïve and would be a colossal waste of taxpayer money. Recent reports estimate that licensing hearings alone would cost more than $1.6 billion dollars. Yucca Mountain is nothing more than a hole in the ground and will never be a viable solution for dealing with nuclear waste. Nevadans know this and they have been clear that they do not want a nuclear dumping site in their back yard. That is why the entire Nevada delegation and I have been and will continue to fight against Yucca Mountain from being resurrected and stop all attempts to revive this reckless project,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. 

Governor Brian Sandoval issued the following statement after the release of the White House’s fiscal budget plan which included funds to restart licensing for the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Southern Nevada. 

“Regarding Yucca Mountain, let me make my position clear – for the remainder of my term I will vigorously fight the storage of high-level nuclear waste in Nevada. Any attempt to resurrect this ill-conceived project will be met with relentless opposition, and maximum resources. Continuing down a path that seeks to force this unsafe and unwanted project on Nevada is a waste of time and money and only gets the country farther away from solving its nuclear waste problem.

I encourage the President to give the nuclear waste problem the same review process he has successfully applied to flawed contracts and government proposals so far.  The private sector has demonstrated that they can address the problem of spent nuclear fuel more efficiently, at far less expense to the federal government, and they can do so in partnership with willing host states.”

Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt issued the following statement on today’s announcement regarding Yucca Mountain: 
“In the coming years, I will continue to battle the poster-child for federal overreach – a battle over an unwanted nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in our beloved Nevada. My Solicitor General’s Office, senior staff and outside experts, working in conjunction with the Office of Nuclear Project’s staff and technical experts and the Governor’s Office, have been preparing for a resumption of attempts to license Yucca Mountain to store high level nuclear waste since a federal court issued its restart order.” 

“Today’s announcement that the president is requesting $120 million in nuclear waste funding, part of which would be used to restart licensing activities for the Yucca Mountain repository, comes as no surprise to this team. Together, we have submitted two separate budget requests for a combined total of $3.6 million per year for the next two years (State of Nevada FY 2018-2019 biennium) to represent Nevada’s interests in the licensing proceeding. That request was based on an anticipated federal restart budget in the range of $100-150 million over the coming year, placing today’s announced federal request in line with our planning assumptions. If more funds are required, we will request additional funding from the Legislature.”

“Nevada will continue to litigate this matter aggressively and fully. We have many strong claims against the proposed nuclear repository. If the Trump administration continues along this path, we expect many years of protracted litigation in which we are confident we will ultimately prevail.”

Democratic Reps. Dina Titus, Ruben Kihuen, and Jacky Rosen declared they won't let Nevada become the nation's nuclear dumping ground.

Republican Rep. Mark Amodei didn't immediately comment.

In rural Nye County, the county commission chairman is welcoming the president's call to fund hearings for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to decide if Yucca Mountain is safe and should be licensed to accept spent nuclear fuel. (AP)

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