(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he opposes the long-delayed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada, reversing his policy on a project on which the United States has spent billions of dollars over decades but never opened.
Yucca Mountain has been pending since Ronald Reagan was president and the government has spent money on initial construction and design, despite staunch opposition to the project from lawmakers in Nevada, who have said that the federal government has tried to pressure a sparsely-populated state.
Tensions between Nevada lawmakers and Washington over nuclear waste flared when the administration revealed that the government secretly shipped to Nevada deadly plutonium from a South Carolina site that produced it for nuclear bombs during the Cold War. The shipment occurred sometime before November 2018.
Nuclear waste from electricity generation is currently stored at nuclear power plants, first at spent fuel pools and then dry storage casks. Other sites being considered for the waste are in rural Texas and New Mexico.
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