Preparing for a renewed battle to keep Yucca Mountain nuke-free (March 2015)

LAS VEGAS SUN – By Amber Phillips – Friday, March 6, 2015 | 2 a.m

WASHINGTON ­ In Nevada, nuclear waste and the possibility of storing it in Yucca Mountain are never far from state leaders’ minds.

But it’s a niche issue for the rest of the nation. Gone are the days of Bonnie Raitt concerts calling for a ban on all nuclear energy, a passionate response to a 1979 partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island reactor in Pennsylvania.

"For kids today, ‘TMI’ doesn’t mean ‘Three Mile Island,’" said John Keeley of the trade group Nuclear Energy Institute. "It means ‘Too Much Information.’"

That could change. There are renewed stirrings in Congress to push highly radioactive nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, and anti-nuclear activists are gearing up for a re-education campaign in response.

They have their work cut out for them to make a new generation of Congress and the average American care about keeping nuclear waste out of Nevada.

"We’re starting from zero," said Mary Olson, a nuclear waste specialist with the grassroots anti-nuclear nonprofit Nuclear Information Resource Service

Here’s a look at where the Yucca Mountain project stands now and how activists are retooling their message to keep it from advancing.

Image

This is a tunnel seen during a public open house of Yucca Mountain on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2001.

Where the project stands now

Depending on whom you talk to, Yucca Mountain is either dead, or just stalled.

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