Salt Lake City Council Resolution - Opposition to Yucca Mountain
Passed July 2, 2002

Resolution ___ of 2002/opposition to recommendation of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the National Nuclear Waste Repository.

Resolution ___ of 2002

WHEREAS, the President of the United States has accepted a recommendation to designate Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the sole site for a permanent national repository to store spent nuclear commercial fuel and high level nuclear waste;

WHEREAS, the Governor of Nevada, under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, has vetoed the recommendation;

WHEREAS, the U.S. House of Representatives has overridden the Governor’s veto, and the Senate may consider whether to override the Governor’s veto in July;

WHEREAS, the City Council on February 6, 2001, adopted Resolution No. 7 of 2001 in concurrence with Mayor Ross C. Anderson to “oppose the placement of a high level nuclear waste storage facility in the State of Utah and pledge to pursue all legislative and legal actions to prevent any high level nuclear waste from passing through, or being stored for any time in Salt Lake City;”

WHEREAS, the reasons for adopting Resolution No. 7 included the potential for the Skull Valley nuclear waste storage facility to become permanent, the inherent risk of transporting nuclear waste on highways and railroad lines through Salt Lake City and the Wasatch Front, and the potential damage to Utah’s tourism industry and economic development;

WHEREAS, the Yucca Mountain site as currently proposed will not have the capacity to store all the nation’s high-level nuclear waste and will increase the potential for the Skull Valley site to become permanent;

WHEREAS, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have issued a report commissioned by the Department of Energy concluding that the DOE lacks sufficient information to predict the suitability and hydrogeologic performance of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository;

WHEREAS, if the Yucca Mountain site is approved, 90 percent of all shipments of high level nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain would pass through the heart of the Salt Lake Valley by railroad and on interstate highways and more high-level nuclear waste would pass through Salt Lake City than any other city in the United States except Las Vegas, Nevada;

WHEREAS, the department of Transportation has stated it is not fully prepared for the forecasted increase in shipments of high-level nuclear waste;

WHEREAS, the casks used to ship high-level nuclear waste to the Yucca Mountain repository have never undergone full-scale physical testing to determine if they can withstand likely transportation accidents and terrorist acts;

WHEREAS, the Department of Energy estimates as many as 108,000 shipments of high-level nuclear waste will carry 77,000 tons of radioactive waste to the Yucca Mountain Repository over a probable period of 38 years.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Salt Lake City Council and Mayor affirm their opposition to siting a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain and urge the United States Senate to reject approval of the Department of Energy Yucca Mountain Repository, require the resolution of critical transportation issues, and provide a comprehensive, safe, and permanent solution to the entire nuclear waste storage problem before transporting high-level nuclear waste to a permanent disposal site.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the signed resolution be transmitted to the President, Utah Members of Congress, Members of Congress representing the Intermountain West and Pacific Coast, the Governor of Utah, the Governor of Nevada, and the Governors representing states in the Intermountain West and Pacific Coast.