Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force, Inc. Press Release on Yucca Mountain

May 7, 2009

The Obama Administration budget, announced today, indicates that the end is near for the Yucca Mountain Project. By allocating the lowest amount ever for the project, the Administration is beginning the process to ramp down and close out a mistake made decades earlier which continued through four presidential administrations. Finally the long hard battle and strong arguments made by Senator Harry Reid reached a president who did not mince words while campaigning in Nevada when he said that Yucca Mountain would end if he were elected. Nevadans had been told in the past that science would prevail but they learned to be skeptical because those promises melted away after the election. President Obama has backed up his pledge with action.

We understand that the plug cannot suddenly be pulled on Yucca Mountain because an unwise Department of Energy (DOE) signed contracts with utilities, agreeing to take the tons of waste that were being generated. And as the evidence grew, showing Yucca Mountain to be incapable of isolating waste, the DOE continued on, declaring the site suitable and they recently submitted a license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, seeking permission to build and operate a repository. The process of reversing these ill-advised actions will begin and a commission will be named by the President to consider failures of the Yucca Mountain Project and what scientifically defensible and publicly acceptable steps should be taken in the future to ensure the safety and security of the public from these deadly waste products.

"We applaud the sincerity of President Obama for ending the Yucca Mountain Project as he promised he would. We especially extend gratitude and admiration to Senator Reid for never wavering in his fight to protect Nevada from the aggressive and unfair battle waged on us by the federal government and powerful nuclear industry," said Judy Treichel, executive director of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force. "This is a victory for those of us that have been in this battle for decades and more importantly, it is an opportunity for us to show our children and grandchildren that if something is wrong, they should oppose it and they can win."