State appeals nuclear licensing order |

State appeals nuclear licensing order

by Geoff Dornan

The state of Nevada has filed a petition seeking to overturn the federal circuit court ruling ordering the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to resume the licensing of Yucca Mountain.

The petition says the court “found that the NRC’s suspension of the Yucca Mountain licensing proceeding violated the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982.” But, it says that ruling conflicts with well-established precedent in the District of Columbia and ignores the fact that Congress “often imposes deadlines but fails to appropriate the money necessary to meet them.” Congress, in fact, appropriated no funding for the Yucca Mountain project in either 2011 or 2012.

That is the case with the Yucca Mountain licensing, Nevada’s lawyers argue, given that the Obama administration has not funded the Department of Energy’s continued efforts to finish and license the nuclear waste dump north of Las Vegas.

Based on that, the Energy Department moved to withdraw the license application. But two members of a three-judge panel denied that motion and ordered licensing hearings to proceed.

The petition asks that the order be reviewed by the entire membership of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.