The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved further actions related to its review of the Department of Energy’s application to build a nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain. 

Specifically the NRC has directed staff to gather input from an advisory panel and the public regarding possible licensing or a suitable replacement system, and potential venues.

The Yucca Mountain site is located about 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas in Nye County

The project ran out of money and was abandoned by the Obama administration by 2011. 

U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) today released this statement: 

“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) move to use funding toward licensing activities at Yucca Mountain is yet another waste of taxpayer money on a failed project that has already cost the federal government billions of dollars over the past 30 years. It’s irresponsible for the NRC to move forward on Yucca Mountain given that it’s unknown how much funding if any it will ultimately receive next year and especially at a time when I’ve been successful in excluding funding for the project from the appropriations bill in the U.S. Senate. Nevada has made clear it will fight Yucca Mountain every step of the way and contest each and every one of the 200+ elements of any license application. I’m disappointed in the NRC’s reckless and fiscally irresponsible decision to throw more taxpayer dollars on a project that Nevada continues to reject instead of using that money toward a consent-based approach to solving our country’s nuclear waste problem. I’ll continue to lead the fight against Yucca Mountain and ensure this proposal remains dead.”

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

“The NRC’s decision today to use public funds to revive Yucca Mountain is a disgrace to the state of Nevada. Scientists have deemed Yucca Mountain unsafe for Nevadans and the state has fought for decades to stop this ill-conceived proposal from advancing. We will not stop fighting until Yucca is completely off the table and we will push for a consent-based approach that will require input from the state, local governments, tribes and stakeholders. The people of Nevada will not allow our health and livelihood to be put at risk, and it is past time the NRC lay Yucca Mountain to rest.”?

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) of Nevada’s First Congressional District released this statement: 

“This announcement is another sign that the Trump Administration continues to stack the deck against Nevada and maneuvers to revive the unworkable Yucca scheme. These funds are the tip of the iceberg in a project that would cost ratepayers at least $80 billion. Since 2010, the DOE has dismantled much of its infrastructure related to Yucca, losing key personnel, ending hundreds of contracts and subcontracts, terminating leases for office space, and moving truckloads of related resources and documents to facilities across the country. Despite the fact that lawmakers have yet to do so, the NRC’s approval of these funds is based on the assumption that lawmakers will appropriate more money to revive the licensing process. The NRC should save these funds from the Nuclear Waste Fund for a consent-based project in a state that wants a repository.”