Nevada Governor Guinn vetoes Yucca Mountain nuclear dump recommendation

LAS VEGAS, Nev., April 10, 2002 — Governor Kenny Guinn declared his historic decision to veto President Bush’s nuclear waste recommendation Wednesday as a wake-up call for America – the day when the rest of America will begin to realize that Yucca Mountain is not just a Nevada problem, but a national one that affects every American.

“Let me make one thing crystal clear – Yucca Mountain is not inevitable, and Yucca Mountain is no bargaining chip,” Governor Guinn said Monday morning in an address at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Tam Alumni Center. “And, so long as I am Governor, it will never become one.”

“Yucca Mountain is not safe, it is not suitable,” the Governor continued, “and we will expose the Department of Energy’s dirty little secrets about Yucca Mountain.”

Governor Guinn departed Las Vegas for Washington D.C. today, where his Notice of Disapproval (Veto) will be filed with both houses of Congress. Never before has a state been given the power to veto a Presidential decision. Congress recognizes that Nevada has a right to an active voice in the selection of a location for the permanent storage of the most dangerous waste generated by mankind. In 1982, Nevada was given the unequivocal right to veto the President’s recommendation that Yucca Mountain become the nation’s nuclear waste dump.

“This veto belongs to each and every one of you who have battled against a project that would be detrimental to the public health and safety of our citizens,” Governor Guinn said, “our precious natural resources, and our economy, and to the other 43 states and hundreds of cities and towns in America through which this dangerous waste will be transported.”

Governor Guinn declared that the Department of Energy’s Yucca Mountain project is based on bad science, law and public policy. In 1987, Congress selected Yucca Mountain as the only site it would study for disposal of this dangerous waste. Notwithstanding that Yucca Mountain is thousands of miles away from 90 percent of the nation’s 110 nuclear power plants, Congress was persuaded by one simple fact – a population of less than a million and only four legislative representatives.

“The fact that the Yucca Mountain decision was made without any analysis of the transportation risks to the 123 million Americans in states through which this dangerous waste will travel is the dirty little secret,” Governor Guinn said.

DOE plans to use Yucca Mountain for the disposal of 77,000 tons of high-level radioactive waste and spent fuel from throughout the United States and 42 countries.

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