CARSON CITY – A decision today by a federal appeals court to temporarily decline to require the restart the licensing process at Yucca Mountain was called “a good day for Nevada and the entire country,” by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has held in abeyance the case challenging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) termination of Yucca Mountain licensing proceedings.
Reid said the court has temporarily declined to grant petitioners’ request that the court direct the NRC to act on the Bush Administration-era license application to build a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The Obama Administration has terminated the Yucca Mountain Project, requested permission to withdraw the license application from the NRC, and is working to develop and implement a better consent-based nuclear waste policy, he said in a statement.
“The court has declined to compel the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to continue licensing work on Yucca Mountain against the will of Congress and the Administration,” Reid said.
“The Nuclear Waste Policy Act has been a miserable failure because 25 years ago Congress chose to undermine the spirit of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and allowed our government to engage in the brutalization of science,” he said. “That is how we got Yucca Mountain.
“Today, President Obama, his Administration and key members of Congress from both parties are working hard to develop a nuclear waste management policy firmly grounded in the principal that before pursuing a nuclear waste storage site, the government must obtain the express consent and agreement of the local community, the governor, and any affected Indian tribe,” Reid said.
“I am confident that in the coming months and years, we will craft a nuclear waste policy that keeps Americans safe and secure and restores trust that the government will not turn a deaf ear to the communities asked to undertake the burden of storing the nuclear energy industry’s toxic waste.”