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Defending Against Yucca Mountain

03/15/2017 at 6:50 | Posted by John Shaffer
400728 01: Early morning light shines on the proposed nuclear waste dump site of Yucca Mountain February 7, 2002 at Nellis Air Force Base located approximately 90 miles north of Las Vegas, NV. In January, the U.S. Department of Energy endorsed a plan to transport vast amounts of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants across the nation for burial under Yucca Mountain, where it will take 10,000 years to decay. U.S. President George W. Bush could annouce his support for the plan, which is opposed by many in Nevada, as early as this week. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Photo Credit: David McNew/Getty Images

Nevada lawmakers are being asked to commit $3.6 million per year for the next two years to fight a federal proposal to bury the nation’s most radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.  State Agency for Nuclear Projects chief Robert Halstead says that’s for the legal and administrative fight.  Halstead told state Senate and Assembly members on Monday that he thinks Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearings on licensing the mothballed project to accept spent nuclear fuel could start before 2019.  A commission spokesman, David McIntyre, said Tuesday that hearings won’t be scheduled until Congress approves funding. Halstead says hearings will take at least four year and could cost the federal Energy Department nearly $1.7 billion, the NRC at least $300 million, and the state of Nevada about $50 million.