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A New Fight Against Yucca Mountain

02/02/2017 at 10:23 | Posted by John Shaffer
400728 19: Sun rays illuminate the desert February 7, 2002 north of Las Vegas, NV where the primary proposed rail route for transporting radioactive waste to the site of Yucca Mountain lies. Although the route would skirt around downtown Las Vegas, many residents dislike the idea of shipping 70,000 tons of nuclear waste over nearby highways and railroads. In January, the U.S. Department of Energy endorsed the Yucca Mountain plan. U.S. President George W. Bush could annouce his support for the plan as early as this week. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Photo Credit: David McNew/Getty Images

Facing a new presidential administration and a Republican Congress, top Nevada elected officials are gearing up to resume a 30-year fight to stop proposals to bury the nation’s radioactive waste about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas. A commission heading an anti-Yucca Mountain fight that has cost the state $50 million since 2001 agreed Tuesday to urge “steadfast opposition” to the project from the upcoming state Legislature and Gov. Brian Sandoval. But times have changed since the project was mothballed in 2010. Former U.S. Senate leader Harry Reid has retired. He can’t block federal funding anymore.  And elected officials in nine rural Nevada counties aren’t opposing the repository idea. Nye County Commission Chairman Dan Schinhofen says they see jobs and economic opportunities ahead if Yucca Mountain can be developed safely.