86°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

DOE might be trying to find other uses for Yucca

WASHINGTON – The Energy Department appears to be shopping new uses for Yucca Mountain that it no longer wants for disposal of nuclear waste, according to senior House Republicans.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, asked Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in a letter Feb. 25 for information on the discussions. He demanded talks be put to a halt since Congress has not approved new activities at the site.

“We have learned that officials from the Department of Energy and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency have discussed the possibility of conducting activities at or near the Yucca Mountain site that are not related to the statutorily required uses for the site and adjacent lands,” Upton said in the letter that was also signed by subcommittee chairmen Reps. John Shimkus, R-Ill., and Tim Murphy, R-Pa.

The Energy Department had no comment. The office of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., declined comment. Nevada state and county officials said they were unaware of any development.

A House Republican aide said it is believed DOE and the defense agency began discussions just in the past week or so, and one possible but unconfirmed activity involved a train derailment simulation.

Daniel Gaffney, a spokesman for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, said in an email the agency “has never used the Yucca Mountain site for any testing activity, and we have no plans to do so in the future.

“DTRA has not and will not be doing any testing at the Yucca Mountain site,” Gaffney said.

The agency, based at Fort Belvoir, Va., is charged with countering threats from weapons of mass destruction including from nuclear, biological and chemical attack. The agency has conducted research and experiments on portions of the sprawling Nevada National Security Site, which is adjacent to Yucca Mountain and is also run by the Department of Energy.

The Yucca site 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas was planned as a high-level nuclear waste repository until the Obama administration terminated the program in 2010. Republicans in Congress and some Democrats charge the administration overstepped in closing the site that had been authorized by Congress in 2002.

“We are concerned of the legality and policy implications of any activities that may in any way affect the adequacy of the site for its statutorily required use for high-level waste,” the lawmakers told Moniz.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Wild summer storms whip through Pahrump

As monsoonal moisture made its way across the southwestern portion of the United States over the last couple of weeks, much of the severe weather had missed Pahrump, until the night of Sunday, July 25 when a substantial summer thunderstorm finally broke over the valley, dumping rain and bringing fierce winds that wreaked havoc in certain parts of town, all the while illuminating the dark sky with streaks of lightning for a period of several hours. The storm let up in the late-night hours but revived with ferocity the next day and though wind speeds did not match Sunday’s, the storm on Monday brought even more rain than the previous night and resulted in extensive flooding throughout Pahrump.

New mask mandate effective on Friday, commissioners to discuss Nye County policy on August 3

Whether or not a person has been fully vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19, come Friday, July 30, all residents and visitors in a dozen Nevada counties, including right here in Nye County, will be required to once again don a face mask when they are in public indoor settings.

Man allegedly exposes himself at Pahrump bar

A local man was taken into custody after allegedly exposing himself to a bar full of patrons and driving under the influence.

Purple Heart Day ceremony set for Pahrump Veterans Memorial

Pahrump and Nye County as a whole are both well-known for their support of the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces and every year sees multiple military ceremonies to honor those who have proudly put on a uniform and offered their service in defense of the nation.

Nye County gold mine project acquired

Eminent Gold Corp. has acquired an option to purchase the Gilbert South Project located approximately 26 miles west of Tonopah, according to the press release.

ANGELICA PULIDO-HULL: Try a new Pahrump local shopping experience

The month of July is dedicated to local and independent retailers across the country. Before the end of the month, choose a Pahrump retailer you have not shopped at before to visit and show your community small business support.

Ringle wants recall

Beatty businessman Ed Ringle is looking to start a petition to recall two members of the Beatty Water and Sanitation Board of Trustees.

Nevada reimposes indoor mask mandate in high-transmission areas

Clark County would be affected by the directive from Gov. Steve Sisolak, which aligns with a new recommendation earlier in the day from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.