Last year, the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget included a total of $120 million in the budget of the Department of Energy to restart the license proceeding for the high-level nuclear waste repository. Although that budget is not yet complete, the President again included another $120 million for the project in the Fiscal year 2019 budget. I am pleased by the President’s action and urge Congress to pass this budget item as quickly as possible.
It has now been 20 years since the federal government was mandated by law to start accepting nuclear waste for safe long-term storage in a deep geological repository. Not only is the repository not complete, but we haven’t been allowed to see if the proposed site, at Yucca Mountain, is even safe for its construction. All the President’s budget does is allow for the science to be heard on the safety of Yucca Mountain. It also follows the law.
Included in the budget request is $3.6 million for Nye County as the host community for the repository. These funds would be used for a number of crucial investments, including funding for programs for our county’s seniors, housing assistance for veterans and to help provide medical services for central Nevada.
I hope our opponents can articulate why they oppose funding to help the elderly, veterans and everyone that needs medical assistance. I hope they can explain why they are afraid of hearing the science. I hope they can tell us why they think it is acceptable not to follow the law.
I applaud the President for his leadership on this important matter and urge Congress to pass the Yucca Mountain funding request.
Vice-chairman, Board of Nye County Commissioners