Washington, D.C., June 8, 2012 — Legislators in the House of Representatives passed a measure funding an application for a Nevada nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.
By a 326-81 vote, the House passed an amendment to an energy appropriations act allocating $10 million for the Nuclear Regulator Commission to fund the proposed long-term repository for high-level nuclear waste.
Squabbles over Yucca Mountain have gone on in Washington, D.C. since the site was first chosen in 1987. The measure's life in the Senate may be cut short by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who has opposed building this repository in his home state.
Despite the U.S. government having spent some $15 billion on the Yucca Mountain project, President Barack Obama, Energy Secretary Stephen Chu and outgoing NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko opposed the project.
Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., who is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcomittee on the Environment and the Economy, said the decision to scrap the project was illegal. It was Shimkus who authored the amendment that passed through the House.