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ROSEN SENDS LETTER URGING HOUSE, SENATE APPROPRIATORS TO NOT FUND YUCCA IN OMNIBUS

March 5, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03) released the following statement on a letter she sent to the U.S. House and Senate Appropriators requesting that no funds be appropriated for Yucca Mountain development in the FY 2018 omnibus legislation.

“I strongly oppose the construction of a repository at Yucca Mountain because it threatens the health and safety of Nevadans,” wrote Rosen. “This proposal requires the construction of almost 300 miles of new railroad tracks to transport the waste, putting more than 123 million lives near the proposed routes at risk. Such nuclear waste transportation directly threatens individuals living in nearly 330 Congressional Districts.”

“Most importantly, Nevadans have not consented to allowing our state to become the nation’s nuclear dumping ground,” Rosen added. “In its 2012 final report, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future recommended that any plan to address nuclear waste storage must be based on scientific analysis as well as consensus from affected parties. Yucca Mountain does not have that kind of consensus. The majority of Nevadans agree that storing nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain is not a viable or sustainable solution.”

Read the text of the letter here or below:

LETTER TEXT

March 5, 2018

The Honorable Rodney Frelinghuysen

Chairman

Committee on Appropriations

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Nita Lowey

Ranking Member

Committee on Appropriations

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Thad Cochran

Chairman

Committee on Appropriations

U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Patrick Leahy

Vice Chairman

Committee on Appropriations

U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Frelinghuysen, Ranking Member Lowey, Chairman Cochran, and Vice Chairman Leahy:

As the House and Senate finish crafting the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 omnibus spending package, I respectfully ask you to not include any funding to restart licensing for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project.

In 1987, Congress amended the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to target Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the sole site for our nation’s geological repository. The State of Nevada and local communities continue to oppose this site recommendation, and licensing proceedings have halted.

Unfortunately, the FY18 House Energy and Water Appropriations bill, as passed by the House last year as part of the “Make America Secure Appropriations Act minibus, includes $150 million to support the Yucca Mountain project, providing $90 million for the nuclear waste disposal program, $30 million for defense nuclear waste disposal, and $30 million to restart licensing proceedings for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

I strongly oppose the construction of a repository at Yucca Mountain because it threatens the health and safety of Nevadans. This proposal requires the construction of almost 300 miles of new railroad tracks to transport the waste, putting more than 123 million lives near the proposed routes at risk. Such nuclear waste transportation directly threatens individuals living in nearly 330 Congressional Districts.

The Yucca Mountain project is also a threat to our national security and the readiness of our Air Force. The Yucca Mountain site is adjacent to the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), the largest air and ground military training space in the contiguous United States. According to Air Force Secretary Wilson, there is no route across the NTTR that would not impact testing and training.

Most importantly, Nevadans have not consented to allowing our state to become the nation’s nuclear dumping ground. In its 2012 final report, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future recommended that any plan to address nuclear waste storage must be based on scientific analysis as well as consensus from affected parties. Yucca Mountain does not have that kind of consensus. The majority of Nevadans agree that storing nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain is not a viable or sustainable solution.

As such, when finalizing the FY18 omnibus, I respectfully request that you recede to the Senate language, which does not include funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. 

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