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Transportation Issues Disqualify Yucca Mountain, Opponent Says

A top Yucca Mountain foe warned Las Vegas business leaders Monday that the proposed nuclear waste repository would turn Southern Nevada into a transportation hub for highly radioactive material.

Bob Halstead, who heads Nevada’s Agency for Nuclear Projects, told a Las Vegas Metro Chamber breakfast that spent nuclear fuel would travel through Southern Nevada for 50  years should work proceed at the site, about 100 miles from Las Vegas.

He also said current plans rely on a design for transportation containers that the nuclear power industry has rejected, something that should disqualify the project.

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Halstead also predicted that if the federal government pushes ahead with construction, the price tag could reach nearly $200 billion, double the current estimate.

Plans to store 80,000 metric tons of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain were declared dead during the Obama administration but have been revived since Republicans took control of both the White House and Congress in 2016.

With deep experience in journalism, politics, and the nonprofit sector, news producer Doug Puppel has built strong connections statewide that benefit the Nevada Public Radio audience.