Art and wilderness "final nail in the coffin" of beleaguered Yucca dump and Mobile Chernobyl rail route
As reported by Cy Ryan in a Las Vegas Sun article entitled "Why new national monument could derails plans for nuke dump at Yucca," President Obama's declaration of a Basin and Range National Monument in the rural heart of Nevada could be the final nail in the coffin of the proposed high-level radioactive waste dump at Yucca Mountain.
So says Robert Halstead, the director of the State of Nevada's Agency for Nuclear Projects, who has led opposition to the U.S. Department of Energy's 300-mile-long, $3 billion rail line proposal that would be needed to transport irradiated nuclear fuel to the controversial dump-site.
The rail route would now have to pass through a national monument, threatening its wilderness and wildlife, and disrupting perhaps the largest landscape art project in North America. "City," created by Michael Heizer over the past half-century, is as large in size as the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
As reported by Juliet Eilperin in the Washington Post, the Basin and Range National Monument is the fulfillment of a long-held dream by U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. Reid, who hails from Searchlight, NV, loves Nevada's desert. He has also devoted his long and successful political career in the U.S. Senate to blocking the Yucca dump, as one of his highest priorities.
This is not the first wilderness area to block a Mobile Chernobyl route and radioactive waste dump. In 2006, Sen. Reid worked with Republican colleagues from Nevada and Utah to create the Cedar Mountains federal wilderness area in Skull Valley, Utah. The designation effectively blocked the environmentally racist Private Fuel Storage, LLC high-level radioactive waste de facto permanent parking lot dump, targeted by a consortium of nuclear power utilities at the tiny Skull Valley Goshutes Indian Reservation west of Salt Lake City. The federal wilderness area was the first designated in Utah in a generation, brought about by the unlikely cooperation of traditional Native Americans, wilderness groups, and Utah's Mormon Republican political establishment.