Shoshone continue to defend Yucca Mountain from high-level nuclear waste
“Stopping Yucca Mountain is the right thing to do to protect the Western Shoshone, all people, and life around Yucca Mountain from radiation risk posed by high-level nuclear waste.” -- Joe Kennedy, Timbisha ShoshoneNative Community Action Council
P.O. Box 46301, Las Vegas, NV 89114
September 21, 2022
Contact: Ian Zabarte
The Native Community Action Council (NCAC) takes no position on Nevada’s filing at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to restart the suspended Yucca Mountain proceedings. As a party with standing in the Atomic Safety Licensing Board Panel (ASLBP) of the NRC, the NCAC made the only ownership contention, a requirement of 10 CFR 60.121 to protect Shoshone land and people. Yucca Mountain is within the homelands of the Western Bands of the Shoshone Nation of Indians defined by the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley (Consolidated Treaty Series Volume 127-1863).
NCAC member Joe Kennedy stated, “Stopping Yucca Mountain is the right thing to do to protect the Western Shoshone, all people and life around Yucca Mountain from radiation risk posed by high-level nuclear waste.”
In 1987, the US Congress identified Yucca Mountain as the sole site for characterization as a deep geologic high-level nuclear waste repository. The Western Bands of the Shoshone Nation of Indians have been resisting coordinated efforts led by the US Department of Energy, the US Bureau of Land Management, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Transportation, and the licensing agency, the US NRC, to inflict hazardous conditions upon the Shoshone people known to be plausible from radioactive materials.
According to Ian Zabarte, Secretary of the Native Community Action Council, “Property is not a thing. It is a relationship between people in regard to things. Shoshone property rights at Yucca Mountain are protected by the treaty and Article 6 of the US Constitution. Western Shoshone title remains unextinguished.”
The Native Community Action Council has been investigating, educating, and advocating on behalf of the Western Shoshone land and people since 1994. Those investigations of radiation exposure are the basis for contentions filed in the NRC ALSBP in 2008 including ownership of land and water.
Nevada Governor's Statement
Nevada wants to bring an end to failed federal plans for the nuclear dump
Today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects announced the filing of a new legal motion to bring an end to failed federal plans to construct a repository for the nation’s highly radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, 65 miles northwest of Clark County’s populated areas.
“It is time to take the lessons learned from the Yucca Mountain experiment and chalk them up to experience,” Governor Sisolak said.
“The residents of Nevada do not want to be a part of a dangerous experiment. Yucca Mountain must not become a national dumping ground of hazardous waste,” said Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04). “It’s beyond time to end the debate on Yucca Mountain and protect the residents in my district and across the state.”
“Year after year, we’ve had to fight to ensure that Nevada does not become our nation’s dumping ground for nuclear waste,” said Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03).
Read the full statement