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March 20, 2019

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Senate appropriations bill moves without Yucca money

Yucca Mountain tour

John Locher / AP

The south portal of Yucca Mountain is seen during a congressional tour Thursday, April 9, 2015, near Mercury. Several members of Congress toured the proposed radioactive waste dump 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

A request for $120 million to revive the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project has been rejected for the moment in the Senate as an appropriations bill moves forward without the funding.

The Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee sent an Energy and Water Appropriations bill to the full committee on Tuesday, leaving out the Yucca Mountain request from the Department of Energy. The bill’s counterpart in the House, however, does include the funds.

“Republicans in the House should pay attention to the Senate and revisit their efforts to fund a dangerous and misguided project that is based on bad politics and even worse science,” Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., said in a statement after the vote.

Titus, Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and three other members of Nevada’s congressional delegation are pushing legislation requiring local consent for nuclear waste storage.

Heller said in a statement Tuesday that Nevada will not be a dump site for the country’s nuclear waste.

“This is a positive first step in a long fight to ensure that Yucca Mountain remains dead,” he said of the vote.

The bill is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.

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