NEI issues statement on Yucca Mtn ruling

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and the Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition (NWSC) jointly issued the following statement after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today issued a much-anticipated decision in Aiken County v. NRC. The lawsuit, brought by the states of Washington and South Carolina, Aiken County, S.C., state public utility regulators, and others after the Obama administration’s termination of the Yucca Mountain repository program, sought a court order to force the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to resume its review of a construction license application for a used nuclear fuel disposal facility at Yucca Mountain, Nev. 

“Today’s ruling is a clear signal regarding the NRC’s obligation to review the Department of Energy’s license application for a repository at Yucca Mountain and to issue a final decision granting or denying the license. The nuclear energy industry fully expects the NRC to take all necessary steps to immediately resume its independent scientific evaluation of the Yucca Mountain license application, as directed by the court.  Similarly, the Energy Department must renew its efforts on this project and fully support the licensing process.     

“Further, we encourage Congress to provide appropriate funding in FY2014 and beyond to facilitate completion of the NRC’s independent safety review. Consumers of electricity generated by America’s 100 reactors, who have contributed nearly $35 billion in fees and interest to the federal government specifically for used nuclear fuel management, deserve to know whether Yucca Mountain is a safe site for the permanent disposal of used nuclear fuel.”