August 2, 2018
As Las Vegas business leaders have been recently inundating Washington DC to lobby lawmakers against storing nuclear waste at the federal Yucca Mountain depository in Nevada, just 90 minutes north of Sin City, a debate continues about the final destination for highly radioactive spent fuel and other nuclear plant products.
A Congressional tour of the facility several weeks ago ignited new concerns about how focused US lawmakers actually are on opening the facility to high-level nuclear waste — or opening any such facility in the near future — while nuclear waste storage becomes an increasing burden — and danger — around the nation.
A bill by Illinois Republican Representative John Shimkus passed the US House in May, streamlining the process to open Yucca Mountain to increased radioactive material storage up to 110,000 cubic tons.
The Senate is not likely to take up a similar bill until after the November midterm elections, and the House bill could come to nothing if Democrats, who are largely against the project, take over the House.
Thirty-nine US states have no way to store nuclear waste in the long-term, while spent fuel remains in short-term storage that is increasingly long term.
While some local residents in Nevada favor granting a permit for the Yucca Mountain complex, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry and President Trump back the project and the federal government has already designated the site as a nuclear waste repository, political opposition that’s continued for decades still stands in the way of the project.
And there are no other such projects on the table, with the exception of one site in West Texas.
Opposition in Nevada now centers on…