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Titus, Cortez Masto Lead Nevada Delegation’s Reintroduction of the Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act

Washington, DC – Today Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) reintroduced legislation that would require state, local, and tribal governments to provide consent before the construction of a permanent nuclear waste depository at Yucca Mountain. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), who led companion legislation in the Senate, and Rep. Titus were joined by Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Congresswoman Susie Lee (NV-03), and Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04), in the effort to ensure Nevadans’ views are represented when the permanent storage of nuclear waste is considered.

“Over more than three decades and at every step in the process, the Yucca Mountain Project has sputtered because Nevadans just don’t want nuclear waste stored in our state,” said Rep. Titus. “We must codify the protection of their voices into law to protect the health and safety of our communities and guarantee a process that honors the consent of state, local, and tribal leaders. Nevada is not a waste land.”

“Nevadans have made it crystal clear that they don’t want a permanent nuclear waste dump in their backyard,” said Sen. Cortez Masto. “I’ve opposed every attempt to restart the failed Yucca Mountain project, and will continue to champion this legislation that respects the voices of our state, local, and tribal governments in Nevada that have been silenced by an unworkable process.”

“For years, I have been fighting alongside our Congressional Delegation to prevent Nevada from becoming the nation’s dumping ground for nuclear and toxic waste,” said Sen. Rosen. “Now, I’m joining my colleagues in introducing legislation that would prevent the federal government from attempting to revive the ill-conceived Yucca Mountain project without clear, written consent from Nevada state and local leaders.”

“As long as I am in Congress, I will remain dedicated to ensuring that Nevada never becomes the nation’s nuclear waste dumping ground, which is why I joined my colleagues in introducing the Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act,” said Rep. Lee. “Let’s be clear: from the start, storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain was a failed policy. Yet, year after year, our delegation fights back against efforts to force nuclear waste on our state without our consent. This bill will finally ensure that local community support is a necessary component of nuclear storage siting.”

“Storing nuclear waste in Nevada’s Fourth Congressional District is dangerous, unsafe, and is not supported by my constituents,” said Rep. Horsford. “Nevada produces zero nuclear waste but some out-of-state lawmakers believe we should be the nation’s dumping ground. That will not happen under my watch. The Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act ensures that Nevada determines its own future and the will of our residents.”

Congresswoman Titus’s long track record of elevating Nevadans’ voices in consent-based siting activities for nuclear waste and toxic material dates back to 2015 and each Congressional session since, where she has introduced similar legislation. Her efforts also include supporting funding from the Office of Nuclear Energy that advances the goals of the Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act and opposing the previous Administration secretly shipping plutonium to Nevada. She has also worked with the State of Nevada’s Agency for Nuclear Projects to urge the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to consider Nevada’s motion to reopen the licensing proceeding regarding Yucca Mountain so that a vote to suspend the project could be taken.

Her bicameral Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act is based on the 2012 recommendations of the Department of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on America’s Nuclear Future and that department’s consent-based siting report from 2017. The legislation would allow funds from the Nuclear Waste Fund to be used for construction of a nuclear waste repository only if the Secretary of Energy secured written consent from:

  1. The Governor of the host State;
  2. Affected units of local government;
  3. Each contiguous unit of local government primarily affected by the repository;
  4. Affected Indian tribes.