Despite a fierce fight from Nevada’s two senators, the Senate voted yesterday to have thousands of tons of nuclear waste shipped from power plants across the U.S. to a repository in the Nevada desert. But President Clinton has promised to veto the bill, and the bill’s supporters fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto. The House has not acted on the bill and may not because of the veto threat. Seventeen years ago, Congress ordered the U.S. Energy Department to choose a place for permanent storage of the nuclear waste piling up at reactors around the country. The bill passed by the Senate would begin setting the rules for turning Yucca Mountain, 100 miles north of Las Vegas, into a permanent disposal site by 2007. The government has spent $6 billion studying the site, but there’s still no firm conclusion on whether it is suitable or how to make it suitable.