Las Vegas Sun

August 21, 2017

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Sandoval names nuke chief in fight against Yucca Mountain

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CARSON CITY – A consultant to the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects has been named its chief to head the fight against locating a high-level nuclear dump at Yucca Mountain in Southern Nevada.

Gov. Brian Sandoval announced today he has selected Robert Halstead as executive director, succeeding Joseph Strolin, who is acting director and didn't apply for the position.

Halstead has been a consultant on transportation to the agency since 1988. He previously worked in Wisconsin when that state was under consideration for a similar repository.

Halstead was one of three finalists nominated by the Commission on Nuclear Projects for the $112,000 a year job. The others were Phillip Klevorick, who is with the nuclear waste division of Clark County and Thomas Wilczek of the state Energy Office.

Halstead was the only one of the three to receive a unanimous vote by the commission in June.

In announcing the appointment, Sandoval said Halstead’s “extensive first-hand knowledge of the issues and key factors at the state, federal and local levels will make for a seamless transition in this extremely important position as we continue Nevada’s fight against bringing high-level nuclear waste to our state.”

The governor said Halstead has represented Nevada in a number of complex technical proceedings before the federal government.

Strolin worked for the agency until his retirement in 2009. Sandoval then asked him in January to return as acting director until a permanent replacement could be found.

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