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Attorney General Ford Applauds Recent Filing Meant to End the Failed Yucca Mountain Repository for Good

Carson City, NV – Today, Attorney General Aaron D. Ford is pleased to announce the state’s recent filing to temporarily reopen the licensing proceedings for Yucca Mountain in order to end the failed project for good. The project, opposed by AG Ford and the vast majority of Nevadans, has held the Silver State in limbo for decades.

“Nevadans have long been clear that Yucca Mountain is an untenable and intolerable site for the dumping of nuclear waste, and it is time for this option to finally be rejected,” said AG Ford. “My office will fight with every legal option at our disposal to ensure that Nevada does not become the dumping site for this country’s nuclear waste. We will protect this state, its environment and its inhabitants with every tool we have.”

On Tuesday morning, the state filed a motion in State of Nevada v. United States Nuclear Regulatory Commissionthat would lift the current stay on the Yucca Mountain licensing proceedings for the sole purpose of considering Nevada’s motion for summary disposition. If those summary disposition motions are approved, the Attorney General’s Office, through its special nuclear counsel, will request that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission deny the Yucca Mountain license application once and for all. These motions for summary disposition are based on the following failures by the Department of Energy:

  • The department’s failure to obtain necessary control over the land surrounding the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain; 
  • The department’s inability to obtain necessary restrictions on military aircraft over the area at Yucca Mountain and; 
  • The department’s failure to address human-caused climate change in its licensing application for the Yucca Mountain  

In light of these indisputable facts, the state will argue that the licensing application is fatally flawed and must be denied.

Despite the opposition of Nevadans, Yucca Mountain was first designated as a nuclear waste repository in 1987, but thanks to the tireless efforts of Nevada officials from both parties in the decades since, the repository remains empty.

State officials, including AG Ford, have long held that the site is inappropriate for the storage of nuclear waste. Officials have pointed to seismic and volcanic activity in the area, hydrologic concerns, fears over the transportation of nuclear waste through Las Vegas and potential national security issues as just some of the reasons why the project should never come to fruition.