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Nevadans Want State to Continue Fight against Nuclear Repository

A majority of Nevada residents responding to a recent survey believe the state of Nevada should continue its efforts to defeat the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain and should not negotiate a deal for financial compensation with the federal government.

About 65 percent of the 404 residents responding to the survey, conducted on behalf of the Nevada Nuclear Projects Agency, believe the state should continue its fight against Yucca Mountain, while 31 percent believe the state should stop fighting and make a deal with the government.

The survey was conducted before the U.S. Senate voted to approve the repository July 9 and President George W. Bush's subsequent signing of the bill formally approving the project on July 23. (See the related article, "Congress Gives Yucca Mountain Green Light as Nuclear Waste Dump.")

"Although we lost the political battle against Yucca Mountain, the results of this survey support our contention that a majority of Nevada residents remain steadfast in their desire for the state to defeat the project in the courts," said Bob Loux, executive director of the Nevada Nuclear Projects Agency.

In response to a question citing the possibility that the Senate in July would override Gov. Kenny Guinn's veto of the U.S. Department of Energy's plans for Yucca Mountain, more than 69 percent of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that the state should continue with lawsuits against the federal government. About 27 percent either disagreed or strongly disagreed.

"It is in the legal arena where we believe we have the best chance to expose the bad science and administrative hypocrisy that led the government to approve Yucca Mountain," Loux said.

In response to the question, "Do you believe the state should stop its opposition and make a deal, or do you think the state should continue to do all it can to oppose the repository, even if that means turning down benefits that may be offered by the federal government," some 65.1 percent said the state should continue its fight. Meanwhile, 30.9 percent said the state should make a deal with the government. The remaining respondents either were undecided or did not respond to the question.

When asked whether they would vote for or against Yucca Mountain if given the opportunity to cast a ballot on the issue, 76.2 percent said they would vote against the proposed repository, while 20.3 percent said they could cast "yes" votes.

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