Energy & Environment

Trump punts on Yucca nuclear waste site

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Donald Trump isn’t taking a position for the time being on the highly contentious, decades-old proposal to build a federal nuclear waste repository in Nevada.

Speaking late Wednesday with Las Vegas television station KSNV, the Republican presidential nominee acknowledged the controversial nature of the Yucca Mountain proposal, and said he would eventually stake out a position on it.

{mosads}“I’m going to take a look at it, because so many people are talking about it. I came into town and everyone’s talking about it. So I will take a very strong look at it, and the next time you interview me, we’ll talk about it for five minutes,” Trump said in an interview.

Trump said he is sympathetic to the objections of some Nevadans to Yucca, which Congress designated in the 1980s for a nuclear waste site. Since then, it has run into multiple delays, including the Obama administration’s refusal to proceed with the planning process.

“You have to worry about safety,” Trump told the station. “And it’s a little bit close to a very major population base, so I’m going to take a very strong look at it and I will come very strongly one way or the other. I will have an opinion.”

Nevada is a swing state in the 2016 presidential election.

An Emerson College poll released Thursday morning had Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton tied in Nevada at 43 percent, though a University of Nevada Las Vegas/Hart Research poll Wednesday had Clinton beating Trump, 44 percent to 41 percent.  

Clinton told the Las Vegas Sun in January that Yucca should be permanently “off the table” as a nuclear dump.

Yucca has been among Nevada’s top concerns in national politics for decades and is frequently a litmus test for presidential candidates.

A poll in June found that 55 percent of Nevadans would be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who supported Yucca.

But the proposal’s popularity is more mixed nationally. Republican politicians typically support it, citing the nuclear power industry and the military’s need for a permanent place to store waste.

Tags 2016 presidential election Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Nevada Nuclear power nuclear waste Yucca Mountain

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