Nevada Republican opens door to Yucca nuclear waste dump

Nevada Republican opens door to Yucca nuclear waste dump
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Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-Nev.) is breaking with Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBarr fails to persuade Cruz on expanded background checks Harry Reid warns Trump 'can be reelected' Homeland Security Republican accuses Navy of withholding UFO info MORE (D-Nev.) and most Nevada leaders by welcoming discussion of a proposed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain.

In an opinion piece Sunday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the freshman representative called for Nevadans to come to the table and work with the federal government and possibly find a way to build the storage site in a way that works for the state.

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“When was the last time someone from the Department of Energy or the White House asked the most basic of questions: Is there a scenario in which Nevadans would actually welcome nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain, northwest of Las Vegas,” Hardy asked

“What would happen if Washington began to look at problems the same way we solve them around our kitchen table — with an understanding that no matter how deep the problem, no matter how emotional the issue, we can always find a solution,” he continued.

Congress declared in 1989 that the government would build a long-term repository for nuclear power and weapon waste deep within Yucca.

It has been stalled since then. While it has strong support among most Republicans, it is strongly opposed by the Obama administration, Reid and most Nevada leaders.

Hardy proposed various deals that could benefit Nevada in exchange for the site, like investment in schools, more water rights from the Colorado River or better transportation funding.

The column brought strong rebukes from Reid and others

“Rep. Hardy is living in a world that doesn’t exist. Opening the door to a nuclear dump Nevada is not something I will ever accept,” Reid said in a statement.

“When it comes to protecting the health and safety of Nevadans from a potential environmental catastrophe, there is no benefit worth bargaining for,” he continued.

“There is no middle ground when it comes to protecting Nevada,” said Rep. Dana Titus (D-Nev.).

But Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) signaled a similar openness to Hardy.

“Nevada deserves a seat at the table in the Yucca Mountain debate,” he said in a statement.