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Trump budget revives nuke waste dump at Yucca Mountain that Obama had shelved

Yucca Mountain (AP)
Yucca Mountain (AP)

In his first budget, then-President Obama, with a serious nudge by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, zeroed out funds for the nuclear waste site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

Now President Trump wants to revive it.

Trump has requested $120 million to kick-start the abandoned waste dump on federal land in the desert about 90 miles north of Las Vegas.

Restarting plans for Yucca Mountain has been on a wish list for years among those advocating for a more permanent repository for the nation's spent nuclear fuel -- much of it sitting in storage at abandoned power plants around the country.

But much has changed in the 30-plus years since Nevada was first selected by Congress as the site for the nation's nuclear waste. The site that at the time was a distant spot in the desert is now not far from the increasing sprawl of Vegas.

Reid may be retired now, but key Nevadans in Congress are fighting Trump's plan.

"Yucca is dead," said Republican Sen. Dean Heller, "and this reckless proposal will not revive it."

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