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Washington subcommittee passes bill on licensing f Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site in Nevada

Bill to expedite Yucca Mountain licensing clears 1st hurdle,  Martin Review-Journal Washington Bureau, June 15, 2017 WASHINGTON — A bill to expedite the licensing and development of Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site in Nevada was passed by a subcommittee Thursday, clearing the first hurdle for legislation expected to be taken up in the House this year.

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on environment approved the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act on a voice vote. The bill now goes to the full committee for approval…..

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., who is not on the committee, attended the hearing and spoke on the House floor later to denounce the bill as one that ignores serious challenges from Nevada, which has denied the federal government water rights to develop the site.

Titus said the bill “usurps the state’s water rights, one of our strongest legal defenses against the repository.”

During the hearing, the ranking Democrat on the panel, Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., agreed. He said the bill as written would “essentially override the state of Nevada’s objection over its water rights.”

Tonko said that would also draw opposition from lawmakers in other Western states, where water rights have been a long source of contention…..

The House bill mirrors the Trump administration call for a restart of licensing for Yucca Mountain. The president included $120 million in his budget blueprint for fiscal year 2018, which begins Oct. 1.

The Department of Energy first sought an application for a license with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to develop and operate Yucca Mountain in 2008. The DOE tried to withdraw the application in 2010 and President Barack Obama defunded the program in 2012.

More than $15 billion has been spent studying the site and preparing for the licensing procedure, which includes adjudication of legal challenges.

200 challenges

Nevada has filed more than 200 challenges, mostly citing safety over groundwater and transportation issues.

Titus on Thursday handed lawmakers a state-produced research paper that showed moving nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain would cross through 329 congressional districts nationwide by rail or highway.

Yucca Mountain licensing also faces legal challenges in U.S. circuit courts.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval this week reiterated his pledge that the state would oppose the Yucca Mountain project.

“The state of Nevada will continue to fight and defeat this dangerous project at every opportunity and in any venue,” Sandoval said in a statement……https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/nevada/bill-to-expedite-yucca-mountain-licensing-clears-1st-hurdle/

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June 19, 2017 - Posted by | politics, USA, wastes

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