Masto vows to fight Yucca Mountain proposal

By Chris Rizo | Sep 10, 2008

Catherine Cortez Masto (D)

CARSON CITY, Nev. (Legal Newsline)-The proposal to build a nuclear waste depository in the remote Nevada desert has deficiencies, said state Attorney General Catherine Masto Cortez, who has fought the controversial project at every juncture.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Monday said it has docketed the U.S. Energy Department's license application for the proposed Yucca Mountain project, where 77,000 tons of radioactive waste would be stored.

The review process could take four years, officials said. Masto, a Democrat, said she will "continue to pursue all viable options to defeat the ill-conceived" project.

"We consider the NRC's decision to be a formality, and our legal team will analyze all of Nevada's options for proceeding," Masto said.

In June, she filed a complaint outlining what she saw as flaws in the Department of Energy's 8,600-page application.

"While the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decision to docket the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain License Application comes as no surprise, Nevada is once again disappointed that NRC has made this decision over Nevada's objections that the 8600-page license application is legally deficient," Masto said Tuesday.

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.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at

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