The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission last Friday said the public can submit comments until the end of September on how to restart the Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste project, Reuters reported.
The Obama administration tried to quash plans to build the controversial storage site in the Nevada desert, but a federal appeals court on Aug. 13 ruled that the NRC had to stop delaying and either accept or reject a permit for it.
The NRC’s Aug. 30 request for views on resuming the Yucca Mountain licensing process is the first action it has taken on the matter since the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Court of Columbia issued its order three weeks ago. That court mandate, which becomes effective Tuesday, says the administration was not heeding a law that designates the mountain as the U.S. nuclear-waste repository.
The atomic agency asked for comments to be filed by Sept. 30. They are intended to help the commission “ensure the most efficient and productive use of the approximately $11 million the agency has left to resume the licensing process,” which was suspended in September 2011, it says in a press release.
The commission will review input from the public, as well as “pertinent budgeting information” its staff gathers, during the 30-day comment period, in order to “decide the path forward in the licensing process,” it adds.
The Obama administration has said, however, that Congress has not appropriated enough funding for the project.