The Battle Mountain Bugle

Representative says Yucca Mountain decision is grossly irresponsible

January 24, 2002

Publisher's Note: The following letter is a statement issued by the office of U.S. Representative Shelley Berkley on the topic of Yucca Mountain. It was written in response to the decision by the Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham, to recommend Yucca Mountain as a National Nuclear Waste Repository.

The decision to recommend Yucca Mountain for a nuclear waste repository is grossly irresponsible.

As outlined by the December 2001 GAO report, the Secretary does not have the scientific data he needs to recommend the site, and any recommendation is therefore scientifically premature.

Additionally, the reasons given by the Secretary of Energy for his recommendation defy common sense. The so-called "compelling national interests" cited by the Secretary are more effectively addressed by the continued and reinforced storage of spent fuel at the reactor sites themselves.

Furthermore, the Secretary's claim that the repository would further our national security is completely mistaken.

In fact, the transportation of nuclear waste through 43 states, and the construction of a single identifiable repository outside the fastest growing metropolitan region in the country, are gross and needless risks to our national security, and a slap in the face to every Nevadan.

Finally, the Secretary's claim that the repository is important to protect the environment is dangerously misleading.

Scientists have uncovered compelling evidence suggesting that the site could be devastating to the environment for tens o thousands of years.

This fight is a long way from over. The President of the United States swore to Nevadans that he would let sound science decide the fate if the Yucca Mountain Project, and the people of Nevada responded by putting their trust in him.

It is now time for President Bush to live up to his word and demonstrate some domestic leadership by shutting down the ill conceived Yucca Mountain Project once and for all.

Additionally, the State of Nevada will prevail in the courts. The facts are clear and speak plainly in favor of Nevada's position_

Once the issue is removed from the realm of political shenanigans, this is one fight that Spencer Abraham and the nuclear industry will not be able to fix in advance_

U.S. Representative
Shelley Berkley