Yucca Mountain Solution for Nevada’s Budget Deficit?

Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository Schematic Drawing by US Nuclear Regulatory Comission

In his letter dated November 20, 2008, Chuck Muth, the President of the Center for Yucca Facts points out that the State of Nevada has a more than $1 Billion deficit that must be bridged and Governor Gibbons has stated that “all options are on the table”. So what could be the financial benefit to Nevada with an operating Yucca Mountain?

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) submitted an amendment (SA 4931) to the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008 (S 3036) last June. Section 1824 of the amendment (“Agreement with State of Nevada”) calls for the Secretary of Energy to enter into a benefits agreement with the Governor of Nevada whereby the state would receive:

  • $100 million a year during the licensing review phase (going on right now)
  • $250 million a year during the construction phase (not including all the high-paying jobs the project would create) and,
  • $500 million a year – about half of Nevada’s current budget deficit – once spent nuclear fuel begins to arrive for storage.

It should be noted that this is just an “opening ante” which has been offered to Nevada without Nevada even participating in any negotiations. Clearly it is reasonable to suspect that such compensation could be substantially higher if the state would simply come to the table.

Source: SAGE Asked to Put Yucca on Table at the Center for Yucca Facts Website.