Opportunity for Congressional and NRC Leadership

The Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition (NWSC) issued the following statement after the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit today issued a ruling in the lawsuit by states, local governments, state utility regulators, and others calling for the Court to order the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to resume its licensing process for the Yucca Mountain, Nevada geologic repository…

“While we would have much preferred the Court grant the requested mandamus relief immediately, we are confident that the Court will ultimately require the NRC to carry out its duties under federal law. Written opinions by two members of the distinguished three-judge panel refer to the agency’s disregard of its statutory mandate and the availability of funds for NRC to continue its review,” said NWSC and South Carolina Public Service Commission Chairman David Wright. “To facilitate the most timely completion of the NRC’s review of the Yucca Mountain license application, Congress should ensure that additional funds are appropriated in FY2013 and beyond as necessary. Presumably, such action would be supported by a large, bipartisan group in Congress, as evidenced by the overwhelming 4 to 1 support of House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy Chairman Shimkus’ recent amendment to appropriate additional funds for this precise purpose. The best way to avoid further delay is for the NRC to immediately resume work on the license application, thereby putting an end to this costly litigation and restoring public confidence that the federal government takes its obligation to solve this national problem seriously.”

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