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Washington, July 27, 2017 | comments

July 27, 2017            
Contact: Miguel R. Salazar, 202-225-9894
Adrian Boafo

Watch video here

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Late last night, Congressman Ruben J. Kihuen delivered the following remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives following the introduction of his amendment to the “minibus” appropriations bills which would prevent funding for the licensing of a nuclear waste facility at Yucca Mountain. Watch video of his floor speech here. Excerpts of his remarks are below:

“My amendment strikes language in the bill that would prohibit the closure of the Yucca Mountain project, which includes the storage of high-level nuclear waste in my district. As you may know, in 1987, Nevada was targeted as our nation’s nuclear waste dump through the “Screw Nevada” bill. In the 30 years since this bill passed, Congress has wasted $3.7 billion dollars of taxpayer money. Yucca Mountain sits in a seismically active area less than 100 miles away from Las Vegas, which holds an urban area with over 2 million residents. Several weeks ago there was an earthquake 33 miles away from Yucca Mountain. This place is not safe for our nation’s nuclear waste. Moreover, the city sees tens of millions of visitors travel to Las Vegas each year, many of whom are from your districts. In 2016 alone, over 40 million visitors traveled to Las Vegas.

“I have grave concerns with the transportation of nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, should this project continue against the will of my constituents. This project will not just impact my constituents it impacts constituents in 329 congressional districts, in 44 states and Washington D.C.  Putting a nuclear repository in our backyard means that this high-level nuclear waste must travel through your backyards first. Your constituents will need to see high-level nuclear waste transported through their communities by rail and by truck. A simple car crash, or train derailment would leave your constituents at risk, and cost our taxpayers more money to clean up the mess. As it stands, this transportation plan also damages our national security and the ability of the Nevada Test and Training Range - the largest air and ground range in the contiguous United States - to train our servicemembers.

“I have been to Yucca Mountain. I have driven through the desert that is home to big horn sheep, and desert tortoises, and ancient petroglyphs and relics of the westward expansion. It is clear that reopening Yucca Mountain threatens the health and safety of Nevadans and Americans from across the country. Our state, which has no nuclear energy producing facilities, should not be the dumping ground for the rest of the country’s nuclear waste. The bottom line – if any of my colleagues support this bill to bring nuclear waste to Nevada, then I’m sure we can find a location in your state. I urge your support for my amendment, and prevent the unnecessary spending of more taxpayer dollars to pursue the Yucca Mountain project.”

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