years of study and recent protests from Nevada, President Bush
signed a bill July 23 making Yucca Mountain the nation's central
repository for nuclear waste, AP reported.
senators, who tried to sway colleagues to vote against the Yucca
waste dump, argued the issue was broader than Nevada. They hoped
concerns over thousands of waste shipments by truck and rail crossing
43 states would change some lawmakers' minds, but they were defeated.
completion of the Yucca Mountain project will ensure our nation
has a safe and secure underground facility that will store nuclear
waste in a manner that protects our environment and our citizens,''
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said in a statement.
five lawsuits pending against the project, and the Energy Department
must still get a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
That process could take up to five years. Meanwhile, Energy Secretary
Spencer Abraham promised a transportation plan before the end
of next year and said stringent safety requirements will provide
an ''effective first line of defense'' against terrorist threats.