By Lindsay Potter
Nevada’s Agency for Nuclear Projects and Governor Steve Sisolak have filed a legal motion to put a final nail in the coffin of the Yucca Mountain radioactive waste dump scheme. Though Yucca Mt. was selected in 1987, decades of resistance, damning scientific studies, and vocal bi-partisan opposition have kept it unfinished. The new motion seeks to lift a stay on a court order (State of Nevada v. US NRC) with the hope of moving forward a request by the state Attorney General’s office to reject the license application “once and for all.” The motion cites several blunders by the US Department of Energy (DOE) including: “failure to obtain necessary control over the land surrounding the proposed repository; inability to obtain necessary restrictions on military aircraft over the area; and failure to address human-caused climate change in its licensing application.” DOE and NRC staff have admitted that these failures render the license application “out of compliance” with safety requirements. The AG’s office lists further failures, geographic flaws, fights against the proposal, and the site’s engineering weaknesses on a new website launched as a companion to the motion. Nevada has illustrated the site’s short-comings over the last thirty-five years and demonstrated staunch lack of consent, proving continued pursuit of the Yucca Mt. project would only waste millions of additional tax-payer dollars. If the NRC does not grant the request, Nevada can resort to evidentiary litigation.
— Press release, “Nevada Files Motion Regarding Yucca Mt. Nuclear Waste Project” from NV.gov; and KTVN 2News television report, Sept. 20, 2022