RENO — A group called Nevadans 4 Carbon Free Energy issued a release last week stating that 34 percent of Nevadans say the research project at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada should be closed, according to a survey by Public Opinion Strategies of 500 likely voters.
The poll, taken in late February by pollster Greg Bolger, showed that 62 percent of Nevadans support the creation of a research park for the study of reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. Thirty-four 34 percent said that Yucca Mountain should be closed entirely, with just 2 percent undecided.
The group says the poll shows that despite the opposition of most political leaders in the state, many Nevada residents believe such a research park could create jobs, new industries and play an important role in the state’s economy.
“UNR, UNLV, and many national labs around the country are conducting research on how to utilize innovative technologies now available to reprocess spent fuel, so bringing them all together to develop the best technology for commercial reprocessing makes sense.” said Gene Humphrey, the head of Nevadans 4 Carbon Free Energy (NV4CFE), a non-profit organization that supports building the research park. “Since several national laboratories are already doing work at the Nevada Test Site, it seems like the logical location to continue the legacy of nuclear exploration. But this project could generate a new form of clean energy, establish new export industries and create thousands of jobs for Nevadans.”
The poll also disputes the notion that the closer you get to Yucca, the stronger the opposition. According to the poll numbers, 75 percent of rural residents (primarily in the southern part of the state and Nye County where Yucca is located) supporting the opening of the site, with 17 percent opposed. In Clark County, 61 percent of residents support it, with 36 percent opposed. In Washoe County 60 percent of residents are in support and 37 percent are opposed. (In Reno 64 percent are in support, with 32 percent opposed.)
“This research center is expected to have an annual operating budget of $100 million and create about 3,000 construction and operational jobs,” said Randy York, a director of Nevadans 4 Carbon Free Energy. “I challenge our political leaders to find any economic development project that has such a potential – especially one that we don’t need to pay for with money from a Catalyst Fund or a promise to reduce their taxes. All the state needs to do is to sit down and negotiate with the Department of Energy.”
For more information, visit www.nv4cfe.org.