CARSON CITY — Governor Jim Gibbons today said President Barack Obama is making the right decision by “zeroing out” funding for the Yucca Mountain Project in Nevada. “Yucca Mountain is not the answer to the Nation’s nuclear waste problem and it never was,” Gibbons said, “I am glad the President has finally seen the light.”
If media reports are accurate, funding for Yucca Mountain will dwindle to zero in President Obama’s upcoming budget. Congress must still approve that budget that will take effect in October. Right now the federal Department of Energy (DOE) has presented a license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to open the radioactive dump. Media reports say the Whitehouse will “discontinue its application”. “I call upon the President to not only discontinue the application for the dump at Yucca Mountain, but to move to have the application dismissed ‘with prejudice’ so it cannot be resurrected by a future administration” Governor Gibbons said.
Over the years, Nevada has spent millions of dollars fighting the proposed nuclear dump in Nevada, including $700,000 in state general fund money for legal bills in just the last 90 days. “Burying nuclear waste in the ground was a bad idea when it was first proposed in 1958, “ Governor Gibbons said, “and now more than 50 years later, it is still a bad idea. The advances in technology have made the nuclear dump at Yucca Mountain an unnecessary waste of public money and are a waste of usable energy.”
The President has set up a Blue Ribbon Commission to look at alternatives for nuclear waste and spent fuel. President Obama wants nuclear power to be a part of the country’s energy future. Governor Gibbons agrees with Nevada Nuclear Waste Project Office Director Bruce Breslow’s assessment that, “Nevada needs to closely monitor the Blue Ribbon Commission’s work over the next two years. There is always a chance that the Commission could still recommend geologic disposal in the future and we must remain vigilant.”
Gibbons added, “Over the years, politicians have declared Yucca Mountain dead probably a dozen times, maybe this time it will be true.”