Nevada cuts funding for Yucca fight

Jan. 23, 2009 at 5:43 PM

CARSON CITY, Nev., Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev., says cuts in funding to fight plans for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site could result in a resurrection of the project.

Bryan is the chairman of the Nevada Nuclear Projects Commission and says Gov. Jim Gibbons has proposed virtually gutting the state office tasked with fighting the Yucca Mountain plan.

The Las Vegas Sun said Friday that even though the project is on the ropes, it could still be licensed by the federal government if Nevada's opposition fades away due to a lack of funding.

"This is not the time to be penny-wise and pound-foolish," Bryan told the newspaper. "This is at a very critical stage and Nevada has to be fully prepared."

The Sun noted that the Nuclear Waste Policy Act that created the Yucca project remains in effect, and the nuclear power industry is still anxious to have a central location for radioactive power plant waste.

Gibbons' office said the governor remains opposed to Yucca Mountain but said the funding reduction for the Nuclear Projects Commission was necessary due to Nevada's projected $2 billion revenue shortfall for the next two years.

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