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Visit to Yucca Mountain Stirs Talk about Nuclear Storage

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A trip by five U.S. Congress members to the mothballed site of a proposed national nuclear waste repository outside Las Vegas is stirring new talk about whether the nation's spent reactor fuel should be buried in Nevada.

The tour on Thursday comes with momentum building toward restarting the Yucca Mountain project — just weeks after U.S. Sen. Harry Reid announced he'll retire after 2016.

Reid is among the staunchest opponents of the project. He has repeatedly pronounced it dead.

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Congressman John Shimkus, R-Illinois, is heading the delegation. He says the U.S. needs a nuclear waste strategy, and Yucca Mountain should be considered.

Also on the tour will be Nevada's newest Congress member, Republican Cresent Hardy. He has been signaling a willingness to support the project if Nevada gains benefits in return.