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November 22, 2019

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Nuclear panel chair: ‘I remain adamantly opposed’ to Yucca Mountain

Yucca Mountain

John Locher/Associated Press file

Participants in a 2015 congressional tour of Yucca Mountain enter the project’s south portal. The site is near the Nevada town of Mercury, about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

The chairman of the state interim legislative Committee on High-Level Radioactive Waste says he'll continue to support a 2017 legislative resolution stating opposition to the proposed national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

"I remain adamantly opposed to the development of Yucca Mountain as a repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, as well as the storage or disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste anywhere in the state of Nevada,” the chairman, Assemblyman Edgar Flores, D-Las Vegas, said in a statement. “I will continue to monitor the actions taken on the federal level to ensure that Nevadans’ voices are heard.”

Flores' statement came after a public hearing Friday on the project, which drew several dozen people. The hearing alarmed Yucca Mountain opponents, who feared it might be a sign that Nevada lawmakers were softening their position on the controversial repository.

Funding for the project was cut off during the Obama administration, but President Donald Trump signaled support for restarting the licensing process by including funding for it in his proposed budget last year. Congress rejected the funding, opting not to include it in the omnibus spending bill, so the project remains in limbo. However, opponents remain concerned that Trump and congressional delegates from other states that support Yucca Mountain will continue trying to revive it.