Press Releases

WASHINGTON – Following the release of the conference report on the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) today announced that he once again successfully worked to keep funding to revive Yucca Mountain out of the reconciled bill. While the version of the bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives included nearly $268 million in funding for Yucca Mountain, $100 million more than what was requested, Heller worked closely with the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee to keep that funding out of the U.S. Senate’s version of the bill. He later urged U.S. Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to maintain that position in the reconciled version of the bill, which was released today. That letter is available HERE.

In April, Heller outlined his case not to fund the budget requests to support licensing activities at the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository to his colleagues in the U.S. Senate. In a letter to U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Heller expressed his strong opposition to the $120 million request in DOE’s budget to revive Yucca Mountain, stating that the failed project has already wasted billions of taxpayer dollars. That same month, Heller expressed his concern to Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Feinstein about the $48 million request in NRC’s budget for Yucca Mountain, and he encouraged them to instead devote resources to consent-based siting for the storage of nuclear waste. In his letter, Heller cited his correspondence with NRC Chairman Svinicki regarding safety concerns as well as his request for a commitment from the NRC to implement procedural safeguards.

Heller also stopped the U.S. House of Representatives efforts to advance funding that would restart the licensing process at Yucca Mountain last year.

“Once again, the U.S. House of Representatives has failed in its relentless pursuit to turn Nevada into our nation’s nuclear waste dump,” said Heller. “Despite the U.S. House of Representatives approval of more than $250 million to support licensing activities at Yucca Mountain and $30 million to store defense nuclear waste at Yucca, I’ve been able to stop their efforts in the U.S. Senate. I thank Chairman Shelby and Chairman Alexander as well as my colleagues on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee for working with me to ensure that not one more taxpayer dollar will be spent on this failed project.  As long as I’m in the U.S. Senate, you can count on me to never let up on my fight to keep nuclear waste out of the state of Nevada.”


Background: Timeline of Heller’s previous work to stop Yucca Mountain


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