Bipartisan budget agreement puts nail in Yucca's coffin

This week, we will pass a compromise package that avoids a government shutdown and makes significant cuts while holding the line on the critical investments that help our economy grow. This budget agreement is about getting our deficit under control by cutting wasteful spending and excess.

That’s a historic victory for the American people. But this agreement also represents a historic victory for Nevadans as well.

Recently, there seems to be more and more wishful claims by proponents of the nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain that the project is somehow alive or should be revived. These voices only seem to be getting louder as proponents shamefully try to take advantage of the tragic nuclear power plant crisis in Japan.

For some reason, some people think the lesson to be learned from the nuclear crisis in earthquake stricken Japan is to push forward with building a nuclear waste repository on an earthquake fault line only 90 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. Isn’t that the most ridiculous line of reasoning you’ve ever heard?

But that’s exactly what House Republicans tried to do during the budget negotiations on the package to keep government running and cut spending. They tried to attach a reckless provision that would have prohibited the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from closing down the licensing process for Yucca Mountain.

Let me be clear: Yucca Mountain is dead.

And when budget negotiations began, I made sure that reckless provision was one of the first provisions to go.
This measure is no longer in the final budget agreement. Funding for Yucca was also a non-starter in the budget negotiations that followed. There is no funding for Yucca Mountain in the budget agreement. Zero.

The bottom line is this: Yucca Mountain is dead. This bipartisan agreement helps ensure this to be the case.