A new US defence policy bill signed by President Bush is set to challenge the development of a spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Utah’s Skull Valley with the creation of a wilderness area in Utah’s west desert.

The bill includes a provision to establish a 100,000-acre Cedar Mountain Wilderness Area near the Skull Valley Goshute Indian Reservation which prevents the development of a railway line that would have been used to transport the material to the storage facility.

Developers Private Fuel Storage, an alliance of utility companies, has said that other options are available for transport, including trucking the waste down the Skull Valley Highway.

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