WASHINGTON (AP/WVOC) - A federal appeals court says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been violating federal law by delaying a decision on a proposed nuclear waste dump in Nevada.
By a 2-1 vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ordered the NRC to complete the licensing process and either approve or reject the Energy Department's application to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.
A federal law has designated that site 90 miles from Las Vegas as the nation's nuclear waste repository and the court says President Obama cannot ignore a congressional mandate simply because of policy objections.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson says the court's ruling is a victory for electricity customers and taxpayers here who have paid millions of dollars toward the completion of the Nevada nuclear waste storage site.
“It's a sound environmental strategy and a safer way to store nuclear waste,” Wilson contends. “Instead of having it at 100 targets around the country, you have it at one secured location.
“But this isn't about that. This is about following the law and this is about the Administration not circumventing the rule of law or the will of Congress and empowering unelected bureaucrats.”
The state of South Carolina and Aiken County are among those suing to have the Yucca Mountain site proceed.
(Photo from U.S. Department of Energy/Environmental News Service)