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Could Yucca Mountain Be Back On The Table?
Could Yucca Mountain Be Back On The Table?

AIR DATE: June 21, 2013


Karoun Demirjian, Washington Correspondent, Las Vegas Sun

BY IAN MYLCHREEST -- Republicans are talking about re-opening Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository, says Las Vegas Sun Washington correspondent, Karoun Demirjian. Of course, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. is the main obstacle to the high-level nuclear waste repository and taking him down makes the prospect even more appealing.

The budget proposal from House Republicans includes funding to re-open and continue the licensing process for Yucca Mountain. The project became moribund when the Obama Administration cut funding and Reid was able to ensure that the project withered. Sometimes he had to use the filibuster to ensure that happened because some Democrats from states like Illinois where there are significant amounts of high-level nuclear waste, would like to see the project continue to completion. Others are willing, said Demirjian, to allow the Department of Energy to use the money already appropriated for Yucca Mountain.

The issue has also become mixed up with the question of the filibuster in the Senate. Since becoming leader, Reid has become increasingly frustrated with Republicans using the filibuster to obstruct Democrats’ agenda. And he’s again talking about changing the rules so that any measure could pass with a bare majority – 51 votes.

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. has already expressed misgivings about the end of the filibuster because it would weaken the role of small states like Nevada.

Other Republicans are citing Heller’s concerns to push back against the majority leader. As Sen. Lamar Alexander recently said on the Senate floor: “A vote to end the filibuster is a vote to complete Yucca Mountain. If we have 51 votes, we can order the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to issue a license, we can order the Department of Energy to build it and we can fund it.”

But said Demirjian, re-opening Yucca Mountain would probably come third to two other Republican priorities: repealing Obamacare and funding school vouchers.



    comments powered by Disqus
    Respectfully I am not focused on Yucca right now. I am focused on the NSA vaccuuming my data! I am focused on my Senator' Ried's statement, "Right now I think everyone should just calm down and understand that this isn't anything that is brand new it's been going on for some seven years and we have tried often to make it better and work and we continue to do that.". So unrepresented!
    JPJun 20, 2013 22:52:44 PM
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