Renewable energy, not nuclear waste, could be the future for Yucca Mountain

FILE PHOTO: A truck travels through he tiny community of Amargosa Valley February 7, 2002 which...
FILE PHOTO: A truck travels through he tiny community of Amargosa Valley February 7, 2002 which is the gateway to the proposed nuclear waste dump site of Yucca Mountain at Nellis Air Force Base, located approximately 90 miles north of Las Vegas, NV. In January, the U.S. Department of Energy endorsed a plan to transport vast amounts of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants across the nation for burial under Yucca Mountain, where it will take 10,000 years to decay. U.S. President George W. Bush could annouce his support for the plan, which is opposed by many in Nevada, as early as this week. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)(Getty Images)
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 11:46 PM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5/AP) - Nevada legislators on Thursday debated a bill to ask Congress to consider Yucca Mountain the site for the generation of renewable energy - instead of the controversial, almost-dead nuclear waste facility project.

SJR 4, if passed, would urge Congress “to use Yucca Mountain for the development and storage of renewable energy,” including geothermal, solar, wind, carbon capture, hydroelectric and more.

It also mentions the possibility of a renewable energy storage lab or a strategic petroleum reserve. It highlights the potential to create jobs in manufacturing and energy in the Amargosa Valley and nearby communities.

The Biden Administration has opposed funding and continuing the project to store nuclear waste at Yucca, with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stating in a 2021 visit to Nevada that Yucca Mountain “will not be a storage place for nuclear waste.”

The history of the project has been mired in opposition since its conception in 1987. The proposed bill calls out that the State of Nevada was against the project considering the dangerous nature of radioactive waste and the harm it could cause.

It cites a 2021 US Accountability Office report that states, “Policymakers have been at an impasse over what to do with the spent fuel since the licensing of the Yucca Mountain repository stopped in 2010.”

There is roughly 89,000 metric tons of used commercial fuel at nearly 80 sites in 35 U.S. states, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s trade association. At 20 of the sites, there’s no longer an operating reactor.

Drawing from the report, the site is not socially or politically viable as an option and included opposition from several Native American tribes.

If passed, the bill would go into effect immediately, sending the resolution to Washington, D.C.

-This report includes material from the Associated Press.