NRC rejects Nevada AG's Yucca Mountain complaint

Chris Rizo Aug. 22, 2008, 2:23pm

Catherine Cortez Masto (D)

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-Federal regulators on Friday declined to reject an application to build a nuclear waste depository in the remote Nevada desert, a project that Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto has vehemently fought.

On Friday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission declined to reject the application for the proposed Yucca Mountain project, where 77,000 tons of radioactive waste would be stored.

The U.S. Department of Energy submitted its application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on June 3. A day after the DOE filing, Masto filed a complaint outlining what she saw as flaws in the 8,600-page application.

"After more than 25 years of trying to make Yucca Mountain work by manipulating regulations, covering up flaws, and even falsifying and manipulating data, submission of this fraudulently defective Yucca (License Application) only serves to reinforce and further deepen that distrust," Masto said announcing her complaint.

The controversial Yucca Mountain repository is decades behind schedule, causing nuclear waste to pile up at commercial power plants in 39 states, project proponents say.

Since Congress finally approved the project in 2002, Nevada officials have tried to block the project, which was originally planned to open in 1996.

In an earlier interview with Legal Newsline, Masto outlined her opposition to the Yucca Mountain project.

"There's been no proof that it is safe; there is concern about the health and welfare of the people who live here based on the contamination to the environment," she said. "The majority are opposed to it and rightfully so."

Masto told LNL that the Yucca Mountain project is "a concern for everyone in this state," noting that polls indicate that about 70 percent of Nevadans are opposed to the project.

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