Morning Briefing - June 05, 2018
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June 05, 2018

Texas Might Pursue Dismissed Yucca Mountain Lawsuit

By ExchangeMonitor

The state of Texas suggested Monday it has not necessarily given up on a lawsuit intended to require the federal government to complete licensing of the Yucca Mountain radioactive waste repository in Nevada.

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday dismissed the lawsuit, saying the state had failed to file on time and had not proven a “continuing violations” case over the decades-long impasse on U.S. nuclear waste disposal.

“We disagree with the court’s ruling and are considering our next legal steps in the case,” Texas Attorney General’s Office spokesman Marc Rylander said in a prepared statement Monday. Rylander did not elaborate, and the Attorney General’s Office did not respond by deadline to follow-up questions.

As of Monday afternoon, there had been no filings in the case following the court decision.

“We don’t think Texas will appeal. If they do, we’re ready to give them more,” Robert Halstead, executive director of the Nevada Agency on Nuclear Projects, told Weapons Complex Morning Briefing on Monday.

The Fifth Circuit ruling was the result of a motion to dismiss the lawsuit from Nevada, one of several parties that intervened in the lawsuit in opposition to Texas’ complaint.

Texas in March 2017 sued the Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Department of Treasury, and their respective leaders, for their ongoing failure to license and build the Yucca Mountain repository for spent commercial nuclear reactor fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The state noted that roughly 2,600 metric tons of used fuel remained stranded at nuclear plants within its borders, and that its utilities had provided $1.5 billion to the fund intended to pay for the facility. It made 24 demands, including that DOE and the NRC resume and complete the licensing process for Yucca Mountain and that the court block additional consent-based siting efforts for other potential repository locations.