WASHINGTON—Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn today announced the state's official disapproval of President Bush's recommendation of Yucca Mountain, Nev., as the site for underground disposal of used nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants and high-level waste from U.S. defense programs. The following comments on the disapproval are from Joe F. Colvin, president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute:
"The decision on Yucca Mountain's suitability for a state-of-the-art used nuclear fuel disposal facility will mark a defining moment for our nation's energy future. Our elected leaders must answer the call to advance U.S. energy security and act in the best interests of our national security and the environment.
"Nevada's objection brings the federal government to the next step in the deliberative process established in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. It is now up to the Congress to shift the Yucca Mountain program from the study phase to the license application phase. The nuclear energy industry calls on Congress to fulfill its responsibility to advance the national interest and approve the site.
"In endorsing the reasoned recommendation of the scientific community following some 20 years of scientific studies at Yucca Mountain, President Bush acted deliberatively and responsibly to pursue the federal government's obligation to the American people to isolate and safely dispose of used nuclear fuel and U.S. defense byproducts. For more than 40 years, scientific consensus has been that consolidation of nuclear waste in one secure, underground disposal facility is the right course of action. President Bush did the right thing when he approved Yucca Mountain as a suitable site. Now it's time for Congress, in accord with the best principles of sound science, to do the right thing for U.S energy security as well."
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org.