weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Nevada board to consider $1M to fight Yucca Mountain plan

CARSON CITY — Nevada is ramping up its fight against the proposed Yucca Mountain waste dump, with a contract for nearly $1 million for legal services up for a vote.

This third amendment to the contract with the Virginia firm Egan &Associates would bring the deal’s total value to nearly $8.5 million through March 30, 2018.

The contract, funded through the Nevada attorney general’s office, was up for consideration this week by the Board of Examiners.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, one of three panel members, has maintained the state’s opposition to the proposed nuclear waste repository for the site about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who also serves on the board, has also vowed to fight the project.

There are local supporters, though. U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nevada, and several rural Nevada counties, including Nye, support moving forward on the licensing process to determine whether Yucca Mountain would be a safe site for permanent nuclear waste storage.

A message was left Wednesday with Nye County, seeking reaction to the state contract for legal services.

The contract will provide outside counsel to assist with the Yucca Mountain litigation and to represent the state before the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Yucca Mountain was designated by Congress in 1987 as the proposed site for permanent storage of nuclear waste produced by power plants nationwide, but that effort was defunded during the Obama administration.

Work at the site stopped years ago, and nothing remains but a five-mile exploratory tunnel that cannot be used for storage or disposal. The site would require 40 miles of tunnels to accept waste.

President Donald Trump included $120 million in his budget blueprint for fiscal 2018, which starts Oct. 1, to restart the licensing process on the Yucca Mountain repository.

The NRC has estimated it will take three to five years to complete the process.

The state is prepared to contest more than 200 elements of any Department of Energy license application.

In July, the Board of Examiners approved an increase in another Yucca Mountain-related contract between the attorney general’s office and Adams Natural Resources Consulting Services by $150,000.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Nevada police agencies to receive grant monies

At least $1.4 million in a Community Policing Development (CPD) program will make its way to Nevada to help support law enforcement officers.

VICTOR JOECKS: How Joe Biden stole Christmas

Christmas classics would be a lot different if they had been written during President Joe Biden’s administration.

Motorcycle crash prompts Mercy Air response

A structure fire on the 4400 block of East Paiute Boulevard prompted the response of Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services crews.

Mizpah rates high in list of haunted stops

Under an agreement between conservationists and a federal agency, a finding must be issued by the end of the month.

Sisolak prepares for ‘heated year’ ahead of 2022 election

Gov. Steve Sisolak, in an interview at the governor’s mansion in Carson City, said he prays daily for guidance in handling the COVID pandemic.

Beatty VFW Memory Garden Dedicated

The Beatty VFW Memory Garden is now open and was dedicated Oct. 9 during the VFW post’s Fall Festival, which featured food, art and craft booths, and a silent auction.

Airport signs to soon show ‘Harry Reid’ as new name

Work could commence soon on updating signage at McCarran International Airport to reflect the name change to Harry Reid International Airport.

Ground turkey products recalled

Butterball, LLC, a Mount Olive, N.C. establishment, is recalling approximately 14,107 pounds of ground turkey products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically blue plastic, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Nevada Highway Patrol receives $100k public safety grant

By putting in additional efforts to combat drunk and distracted drivers along Silver State roadways, the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Highway Patrol Division has received a grant in the amount of $100,000 from the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety for targeted DUI enforcement campaigns during the coming year.