Energy Secretary Rick Perry says he would like to see interim storage happen at sites around the country-- while the department works to complete the permanent Yucca Mountain project.

Perry made the comment at a House Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee budget hearing Tuesday. 

He added that the Yucca site could also be used for interim storage.

"I don't want to stir something up here just for the sake of stirring something up, but if we're truly looking for the proper places to interimly store some waste, that test site has the potential to do that as well.”

U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) released the following statement:

“Secretary Perry’s comments today are irresponsible, reckless, and show a blatant disregard for the state of Nevada. As I have repeatedly told the Secretary, Nevada will not serve as our nation’s nuclear waste dump. The only viable solution to our country’s nuclear waste problem is one that is rooted in consent, and Nevada has said ‘no.’ I stand with Nevada in staunch opposition to Secretary Perry’s comments regarding the Test Site and any attempt to revive Yucca Mountain. Secretary Perry today referred to a ‘moral and national security obligation,’ and I believe that fighting for Nevada against Yucca Mountain is mine.”

U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) released this statement:

“Secretary Perry’s ‘moral obligation’ to restart the Yucca Mountain project and build interim nuclear waste facilities in Nevada is diametrically opposed to the moral obligation Nevadans have to protect our families, communities and way of life. I urge the Secretary to heed the advice of scientists who have deemed Yucca Mountain unviable and dangerous for nuclear waste storage, particularly due to its close proximity to Nevada's communities. Until then, I am prepared to do whatever I can to stop ill-conceived proposals from advancing.” 

Governor Brian Sandoval issued the following statement:

“Today’s comments by Secretary Perry suggesting he would consider storage of high-level nuclear waste at the Nevada National Security Site come as a complete blindside and I view this as a total disregard and failure to honor the historical process. The idea of storing high-level nuclear waste at the National Security Site is ill-conceived, irresponsible, and likely illegal,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “This is a prime example of federal overreach and Nevada will pursue every legal option at our disposal. Today, I’ve asked the Nevada Attorney General to review this misguided proposal and identify legal avenues to stop it. This is further than even the most fervent pro-Yucca advocates have gone and like Yucca Mountain, this idea is a non-starter. Let me be clear, no part of Nevada will be home to the world’s most toxic waste and we will fight every effort that puts our citizens at risk.”

Rep. Dina Titus Of Nevada’s First Congressional District released the following statement:

“Rick Perry’s moral compass is pointing in the wrong direction. This is what I feared when President Trump nominated Secretary Perry to be our Energy Secretary. And that's why I urged our Nevada Senators to oppose his confirmation, unfortunately to no avail. The majority of Nevadans have never supported building a nuclear waste dump in our state yet Secretary Perry and the Trump Administration are determined to shove it down our throats. Perry said people with nuclear waste currently in their districts have the most to lose. What about the Nevadans who have never consumed a kilowatt of nuclear energy? To add insult to injury, Perry went into uncharted territory by suggesting that he wants to build interim storage facilities in our state – a proposal that would violate the current Waste Acceptance Criteria. Perry’s position is unprecedented, unethical, and immoral. Building nuclear storage facilities of any kind must require the consent of affected communities.”