May 19, 2005 – The Shoshone tribe is considering whether to appeal a federal judge's decision that rejected their attempt to stop plans for a national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
The Western Shoshone National Council had challenged the US Department of Energy's proposed use of the land, which is within ancient Shoshone territory, as violating the 1863 Ruby Valley Treaty.
US District Court Judge Philip Pro ruled Tuesday that the tribe did not show the Yucca Mountain plan would cause "immediate and irreparable" harm, the Associated Press reported.
Since the plan to create a nuclear waste dump was announced three years ago, the project has come under sharp criticism from environmental and anti-nuclear groups, along with scientists who claim the site is poorly suited for storing the waste over the long or short term. Many also argue that transporting the hazardous material from 39 states to the Nevada desert would make it more vulnerable to accidents and terrorist plots.
On Monday, the Nevada Senate unanimously approved a measure urging Congress to oppose the federal Yucca Mountain plan. That resolution, which the stateâ€™s Assembly passed earlier, called the proposed repository "an ill-advised project based on bad science, bad law and bad public policy; a choice that ignores better, less expensive and safer alternatives; a choice which hinders, not helps, national security."