Decades-long Yucca Mountain battle could flare up

(AP) - Officials in the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects religiously check their computers every Tuesday and Friday when they wake up because a pivotal ruling is expected from federal courts on whether a high level nuclear waste dump proposed for the state should proceed.

The ruling could mean a difference of $7 million in the agency's annual budget - nearly $2 million of which it would request from the state.

Executive Director Bob J. Hallstead says he doesn't expect the court to terminate the effort to license the Yucca Mountain repository so it is likely the fight against the 1987 project is not over.

But he adds that without substantial funding from Congress, the project is finished. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission simply can't pay the project's enormous bills without an appropriation.


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