U.S. Nuclear Body Gathers Feedback on Restarting Yucca Review

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Sept. 3, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

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.

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