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Illinois Congressman Plans To Visit Yucca Mtn. In Effort To Revive Project

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has found the design of Yucca Mountain meets federal standards to be a nuclear waste disposal site.

That’s good news for Congressional Republicans lobbying hard to use the site to store spent reactor fuel and highly radioactive material.

But the state of Nevada and other opponents have always argued the site is too close to the Las Vegas valley, which is the state’s economic engine.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV has fought against the waste dump for years, and so far, he has been largely successful.

Illinois Republican Congressman John Shimkus is a supporter of bringing waste to Yucca Mountain. He and two of his colleagues on the House Energy and Commerce Committee will visit Yucca Mountain soon in an effort to revive the project.

Shimkus told KNPR’s State of Nevada that he takes issue with the phrase ‘revive the project.’

“It sounds like it is dead. Although there is some view that that has happened, it has not,” Skimkus said.

In an interview with KNPR earlier this year, Sen. Reid said exactly that, calling it a shutter trailer park.

But Skimkus pointed out that current law has designated Yucca Mountain as the site for the nation’s waste depository. He also said there is no scientific argument against anymore because of the NRC’s decision.

“It’s a pretty good location for this,” Shimkus said.

He said Nevada needs to get involved with how this project moves forward. He said the state has lost out on a lot of money with the closure of the project and there is money to be made if the project is allowed to progress.

He also said there is support in the House of Representatives to fund the project and while it may pass the House, Sen. Reid has blocked in the Senate for several years.

“The thing that Sen. Reid has been able to do is block even a vote on this,” Skimkus said.

Skimus believes that if the NRC said there was a secure site for a depository in his home district he would have no problem allowing it to be built.    


Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill
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Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill

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