The US Senate has passed an energy spending bill worth more than £20bn that supports President Barack Obama’s pledge to shut a nuclear waste plant in the US state of Nevada.
The move to close the Yucca Mountain plant, which cost more than £8bn to build, will leave the US without a long-term storage solution for highly radioactive waste from nuclear power stations.
Senators passed the bill, which also covers hundreds of water projects being undertaken by the Army Corps of Engineers, by a vote of 85-9.
Both bills will now be debated in a House-Senate conference committee before a final bill can be sent to the President.
The Senate also adopted an amendment by California Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to transfer water to farmers suffering from droughts in California’s Central Valley.
Senator Barbara Boxer said: “I view this as a breakthrough in the water wars in California. We were able to bring environmentalists together with the water districts.”