Thursday, June 5, 2008



Progress Claims Undercut by Lengthy Delays, Transportation Dangers Remain

(Washington D.C. – June 3, 2008) Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) today responded to remarks by Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman touting the submission of a License Application (LA) for the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump 90 minutes outside Las Vegas. The document was sent today by the Department of Energy (DOE) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for review. Bodman spoke at a news conference in Washington, D.C. this afternoon.

“The real news here is that after more than 20 years, Yucca Mountain is still decades behind schedule and its price tag has grown to $80 billion,” said Berkley. “The Bush White House knows the sun is about to set on its dreams of turning Nevada into a nuclear waste dump. As a result, they are desperate to show progress is being made, even as Yucca’s timetable has now slipped to 2020 or beyond. The clock is ticking on the future of Yucca Mountain and one thing is certain, come next January, there will be a new occupant in the Oval office. I hope that change will mark the end of this failed project once and for all,” said Berkley.

Berkley also responded to a call by Secretary Bodman for action on a so-called “fix Yucca” bill that would weaken regulations governing the dump and loosen Congressional controls over spending on the proposed repository.

“Secretary Bodman again called for action on a ‘fix Yucca’ bill that would gut health and safety standards for the dump and would tie the hands of Congress when it comes to oversight of spending. This reckless legislation has gone nowhere since being introduced and I will continue working with Senator Reid and my colleagues in the House to make sure it stays that way.”

Legislation cosponsored by Berkley would allow nuclear waste to be safely stored at power plant sites hardened for protection, eliminating the need for waste to be moved to Yucca Mountain.

“Nuclear waste can be safely stored on-site for the next 100 years. This solution costs a small fraction of the price tag for dumping this toxic garbage in Nevada and avoids the danger of an accident or terrorist incident involving shipments of radioactive waste,” said Berkley.

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