Nevada Attorney General Brian Sandoval says a 1990 rule used to license nuclear power plants must be changed because it presumes Yucca Mountain will be licensed as a waste dump.
The state sued the Nuclear Regulatory Commission this week demanding the so-called "Waste Confidence Rule" be changed.
The rule states that the NRC can continue to license new nuclear power plants because a geologic repository to dispose of radioactive waste will be available by 2025.
"Today, the only way NRC can meet its requirement that a repository will be available by 2025 is to presume it will give Yucca a license," he said. "For an ostensibly impartial regulator to make that prejudgment is simply unlawful. Frankly, it's also appalling public policy."
The state petitioned NRC to change the rule in March but was rejected in August. Sandoval said that is the first time in NRC history a rulemaking petition was rejected without public comment.
"They're bending over backwards to ram this project forward and we're confident the court will see through it," he said.