WASHINGTON (WBBM) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) says the nation needs a permanent nuclear fuel waste storage system, but not near Lake Michigan, as is currently the case with the spent fuel pool in far north suburban Zion.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports, nuclear waste is currently stored at a facility in Zion, described as aging and no longer in operation.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports

“Clearly, any politician that says we should not build Yucca is for keeping nuclear waste right next to Lake Michigan,” Kirk said. “I think that’s irresponsible.”

Kirk is talking about Yucca Mountain located about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas. It has been the proposed location for spent nuclear reactor fuel.

Kirk says he and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) are “pro-Yucca Mountain” after the fallout from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

But the “not in my backyard” opposition from Nevada residents has delayed delivery of the spent reactor fuel by more than a decade.