Rep. Shimkus hints at committee action on Yucca Mountain

Shimkus was accompanied on his visit by Reps. Gene Green (D-Texas) and Michael Burgess (R-Texas), both members of the Energy & Commerce Committee.

In comments to the Carmi Times, Shimkus said Yucca Mountain was closed for "no apparent scientific or technical reasons," and said the site is needed to consolidate nuclear waste.

"There are over 120 storage pools scattered around the country," he said. "We need to proceed with a consolidated site, and one site has been in the works for years."

Shimkus also implied Republicans could make the Yucca Mountain issue into a jobs issue by saying that people living closest to the site "want to see Yucca move forward," and that they have seen job losses since the site was shut down by the Obama administration.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has worked to keep the site closed, despite billions of dollars spent over the last three decades to prepare the site as a disposal facility for radioactive waste.