Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yucca Mountain: Native Americans Give Oral Testimony


Native Community Action Council
P.O. Box 140, Baker, NV 89311
Contact: Ian Zabarte
Telephone: (702) 423-2952
Press Release—January 27, 2010


By Ian Zabarte, Western Shoshone

Today, the Native Community Action Council (NCAC) will provide oral comments to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Atomic Safety Licensing Board Panel Construction Authorization Board on the ability of the Department of Energy to maintain the Licensing Support Network document collection. The NCAC is a party with standing to the proceedings in the Department of Energy License Application for a construction authorization to construct a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain 90 miles north of Las Vegas, Nevada.
“We are here on behalf of the land and people of the Great Basin to ensure we are heard,” said Margene Bullcreek, President of the NCAC. Ms. Bullcreek added, “A Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository will leak impacting the land and people of the Great Basin sooner or
later. That fact is lost in the technical legal arguing in the NRC hearing.” The NCAC is composed of Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute people of the Great Basin that have suffered adverse effects from exposure to radiation in fallout from US nuclear weapons testing. The NCAC has conducted research into the health effects known to be plausible from exposure to radiation that is the basis for one of the contentions filed by the NCAC in the proceedings.
Representing the NCAC in the proceedings, Ms. Rovianne Leigh of the law firm Alexander, Berkey, Williams, and Weathers, LLP, characterized the importance of the NCAC participation in the proceeding today. “The Native Community Action Council is the only party to the proceedings that does not receive federal funding for its participation besides the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear industry representative.” Ms. Leigh went further, “There is no guarantee that the 80 million documents needed for the licensing proceedings can be maintained and ensure that the rights and interests of the NCAC are protected if the Department of Energy withdraws its Yucca Mountain License Application before the NRC. The matter should be dismissed with prejudice in that event.”
The proceedings continue today at the Las Vegas hearing facility of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Atomic Safety Licensing Board Panel Construction Authorization Board.

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