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Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act reintroduced by Nevada leaders

Posted at 5:14 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 13:50:52-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.-01), along with Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.-04), and Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.-03), re-introduced the Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act in the Senate and House.

This legislation would ensure that state, local, and tribal governments are central to a permanent repository and storage program, and it would give Nevadans a meaningful voice in any plans to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.

“From my first day in Congress, I made a commitment to safeguard the health of Nevadans. That is why I continue to oppose every attempt to breathe life into the failed Yucca Mountain project,” said Sen. Cortez Masto. “For too long, the voices of our state, local, and tribal governments in Nevada have been silenced by a broken process. This legislation ensures that states like Nevada have a seat at the table when a permanent nuclear repository is proposed in their backyards. I was glad to receive a commitment from Secretary Granholm earlier this year to work together to develop safe, workable alternative solutions to the unsuitable Yucca Mountain site, and I’ll continue to work with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to defeat misguided efforts to turn Nevada into the nation’s nuclear dumping ground.”

“Nevadans are strongly opposed to the storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. No state or community should have a nuclear waste dump forced upon its residents,” said Rep. Titus. “After years of attempts by the federal government to revitalize this dangerous project, we finally have allies in the Oval Office and at the Department of Energy. This legislation should serve as a guide for the Biden Administration to find a new site to store nuclear waste based on local consent.”

“The past 34 years of failure have demonstrated that a forced nuclear waste siting process cannot work in our system of government,” said Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. “The Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act (NWICA) offers a workable path forward. Congress should immediately act to pass the NWICA and abandon the failed Yucca Mountain Project.”

“Nevadans have made it clear that we will not tolerate the storing of nuclear waste in our state,” said Sen. Rosen. “The transportation and storage of nuclear waste poses significant threats to the health and safety of Nevadans, and this legislation will ensure that nuclear waste stays out of our state by requiring the consent of Nevada before any spending or construction is approved. I will continue to stand alongside my colleagues as we work to prevent Nevada from becoming the nation’s nuclear dumping ground.”

“For years, Nevadans have vociferously rejected dangerous plans to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. I will not allow Nevada to become a dumping ground for the nation’s nuclear waste,” said Congressman Steven Horsford. “The Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act will ensure that Nevadans have a voice in any plan to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. This legislation will protect the health and safety of Nevada families, safeguard our pristine wilderness, and allow our $40 billion tourism industry to rebuild.”

“Nevada has made it clear for decades that we refuse to become the nation’s nuclear dumping ground,” said Rep. Susie Lee. “Year after year, bipartisan state leaders fight sustained attempts to fund the opening of Yucca Mountain. No state should have any nuclear waste forced on it. Instead, we need an open and honest process that includes our local government officials and community. That’s why I am joining my colleagues in re-introducing The Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act. This bill ensures that the federal government cannot make our state the nation’s nuclear dumping ground without its consent. I’ll continue fighting day in and day out to stop attempts to revive Yucca Mountain.”

In order for the federal government to spend money from the Nuclear Waste Fund for the construction of a nuclear waste repository, the Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act would require the consent of the Governor, affected local governments, and impacted local tribes.

In 2013, the Department of Energy (DOE) published a strategy for implementing the 2012 recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on America’s Nuclear Future. In December 2015, DOE requested public input on plans to develop a new consent-based process for siting facilities for nuclear waste storage and disposal based on BRC recommendations. The Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act is based on the BRC’s 2012 recommendations and DOE’s previous consent-based siting report from 2017.

An open, consent-based process ensures that states have a meaningful voice in the process and that no jurisdiction will be forced to accept nuclear waste against its own will.