By Jacob Lowell
Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson joined political leaders from Nevada, Tuesday, May 28, to oppose nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain.
The Yucca Mountain Repository Site Approval Act, recently passed by a vote of 306-117 in the U.S. House of Representatives, is now awaiting Senate approval.
“We will not be the radioactive dumping ground of this country any longer,” Anderson said.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said his state supported Utah in fighting against making Skull Valley, Tooele County, a nuclear waste site and he wanted to know why the support had not been returned in the Nevada fight.
“I am dumbfounded that my friend, the governor of Utah, has not supported us,” he said.
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said transporting the nuclear waste is a national problem. To transport the spent fuel, the shipments would travel through 43 states and 106 cities, he said.
“We need the American people to know that somebody is trying to pull the wool over their eyes and we”re not going to let it happen. We”re not going to let them get away with it. We”re going to expose them,” Goodman said.
The risks are too high to transport the spent fuel, Reid said. Containing the nuclear waste would be impossible if there were an accident while transporting it, he said.
“A truckload of nuclear waste has 240 times the radioactivity of the bomb that dropped on Hiroshima,” he said.
Reid said he has talked to Utah”s senators and is hopeful they will oppose transportation of nuclear waste through the Utah.
“I”m hopeful and confident they”ll do the right thing,” he said.
Contrary to what Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has said, approving the Yucca Mountain location increases the likelihood of bringing the waste to Skull Valley, Anderson said.
“I think that our job now is to demonstrate that Yucca Mountain means, ultimately, permanent storage at the Skull Valley facility,” he said.
Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, the only Utah representative to vote against the bill, said the waste should remain in the East, where the fuel is manufactured.
“This is about the East coast dumping their waste on the West; whether it”s in Nevada, whether it”s in Utah, it”s the same thing,” he said.