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Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said she works the room at gatherings of fellow mayors to warn them of the potential transportation risks the nation might face should nuclear waste be moved to Yucca Mountain.
“We have passed a resolution every year that I’ve been back in Washington with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to repurpose, deactivate, do research, take the money, but don’t transport this garbage across this country,” she said.
In its opposition to Yucca Mountain, Nevada contends that shipping the waste from its current 121 locations around the country to a site 100 miles from Las Vegas would create a safety risk should there be an accident or terror attack. She pointed to the country's dismal grades for infrastructure as a reason why other mayors should be concerned about the waste being transported.
“Any mayor who wants to be honest with his people needs to look at the roads, the tunnels, the bridges in his community,” she said.
Goodman said the solution isn't in moving the waste, but finding a better way to deal with it.
“Everyone wants it out of their backyard," she said, "What they have to understand is this will continue and continue for decades and they better find a way to take care of it."
She said that even if the waste repository is built at Yucca Mountain, which she will continue to fight tooth and nail against, the site will eventually hit capacity. She believes more needs to be done to deal with the waste we have.
Goodman also said elected officials in Nye County, where Yucca Mountain is located, who favor building the waste repository are being shortsighted in viewing the project as an economic boost.
“Nye County is a beautiful, beautiful place with great people. But they need to figure out something else to be fighting for,” Goodman said. “It’s not about money. Life is not about money.”
She said the Yucca Mountain issue is about safety and people will not live where they don't feel safe, which is why it is her first priority.
Carolyn Goodman, Las Vegas mayor
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