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Mich. Senator Sides Against Yucca Site Plan

July 03, 2002|From Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said Tuesday she will vote against moving radioactive waste to Yucca Mountain in Nevada because she is worried the shipments could be the target of a terrorist attack

Stabenow said the Bush administration has not done enough to ensure the safety of the thousands of shipments that would bring nuclear waste from around the country to the proposed waste repository 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Stabenow cited an Energy Department study that raises the possibility that waste might be barged north on Lake Michigan to Muskegon, Mich., where it would be transferred to rail cars destined for Nevada.

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham denied in a letter to Stabenow that the study commits the department to using barges. She said his letter did not provide enough assurance.

Stabenow is the second senator in recent days to come out against the Yucca Mountain project, joining fellow freshman Jean Carnahan (D-Mo.), who announced her opposition Friday.

Nevada's two senators, Democrat Harry Reid and Republican John Ensign, both of whom oppose the Yucca plan, still face a steep climb to persuade 51 senators to kill the repository plan.

Used reactor fuel in Michigan is being held in water-filled pools at four plants in the state.

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