Nye County Commission nuclear waste liaison Dan Schinhofen is confident that he has the support of newly elected Rep. Cresent Hardy, R-Nev., in his effort to restart the stalled Yucca Mountain project.
Schinhofen told KNPR's State of Nevada program that Hardy, who beat Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., Tuesday supports moving forward with the long-stalled nuclear waste depository 90 miles north of Las Vegas. Schinhofen said he had spoken directly with Hardy about it.
A message left with Hardy on Thursday had not been returned. But beyond Hardy's support, Schinhofen believes there are several reasons the project will be completed.
First, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff analysis found the site “with reasonable expectation” could satisfy licensing rules and would be safe to store nuclear waste.
The second event was Tuesday’s Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate, forcing Majority Leader and Yucca Mountain opponent Harry Reid into the minority. Republicans have said that new votes on Yucca Mountain would be among their priorities in a GOP-controlled Congress.
“It is our expectation that the Department of Energy will now comply with existing law and court rulings and restart the Yucca Mountain licensing review,” Schinhofen wrote in an Oct. 17 letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernst Moniz.
In his letter, Schinhofen described Yucca Mountain as the “most reliable and prudent means to address the permanent disposal of the nation’s nuclear fuel and defense high-level waste.”
He claimed the previous decision to withdraw the license application was politically motivated and countered the provisions of the amended Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1987. That act designated Yucca Mountain as the geologic repository for 77,000 tons of high-level nuclear waste.
Philip “Phil” Klevorick, program manager, Clark County Nuclear Waste Division
Dan Schinhofen, nuclear waste liaison, Nye County Commission
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