House moves on Yucca Mountain funding

June 8, 2012 at 8:31 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- U.S. leaders in the House of Representatives were lauded for passing a measure that helps fund an application for a Nevada nuclear repository.

The House, in a 326-81 vote, passed an amendment to an energy appropriations act that would allocate $10 million for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to fund the nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain.

Lawmakers in 1987 picked the site for the nation's nuclear waste. After more than 10 years and $15 billion, U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu abandoned the idea.

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, said last year the decision by Obama to scrap the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository was illegal.

Shimkus offered the amendment that passed through the House this week.

Tom Schatz, president of trade group Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, said in a statement that the House vote was a win for U.S. taxpayers who are "shouldering unnecessary fees" tied to nuclear waste.

The measure is unlikely to pass through the Senate, however. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is a staunch opponent of the Yucca Mountain facility.

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