The US House of Representatives has approved, by a clear margin of 306 to 117, a resolution designating Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the future site of the nation’s repository for high-level radioactive wastes, principally spent fuel from power reactors, but also from naval spent fuel.

Nuclear industry leaders hailed the decision as a “clear, bipartisan signal to the US Senate”. The US Senate is also required to vote on the issue to override Nevada’s objection.

Although the House of Representatives was expected to vote through the resolution, the margin was significantly larger than had been expected, with almost half of the House Democrats joining most Republicans in support of the administration.

If the Senate approves the measure, the Bush administration will then apply for a site license from the NRC.

A Senate vote is expected in June or July.