Texas’ lawsuit to force Yucca Mountain dismissed

This April 9, 2015, file photo shows the south portal of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump near Mercury.

This April 9, 2015, file photo shows the south portal of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump near Mercury.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced on Friday the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted his office’s motion to dismiss the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste lawsuit filed by the State of Texas.

In filing its lawsuit, Texas sought to force congressional funding and rush the Nuclear Regulatory Commission into completing the Yucca Mountain licensing process within a year or less. Texas also sought to prevent the U.S. Department of Energy from pursuing a consent-based siting policy for nuclear facilities.

“Today’s decision comes after many hard fought legal efforts to protect Nevadans from the poster-child for federal overreach — a cram down of a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain,” said Laxalt. “This victory proves Nevada is unified in its fight.

“This type of litigation victory happens but once a decade, and is a credit to the hard work of lawyers in my office including my Solicitor General’s Office that is responsible for the legal briefing in this case. We are also proud to work cooperatively with the Office of Nuclear Project’s staff and the Governor’s Office.”

“As Governor of Nevada, I am incredibly pleased by today’s motion to dismiss,” Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said. “Our state has long been united in the fight against Yucca Mountain and, whether in court or in Congress, we will continue to oppose the siting of a nuclear waste repository in our great state.”

Deputy Solicitor General Jordan Smith wrote in Nevada’s filings, “If Texas (was) successful, the end result (would have been) to short-circuit the current legislative process, hamper Nevada’s ability to present its case in full and fair licensing and adjudicatory hearings, and ultimately shove a flawed and dangerous nuclear waste dump on Nevada and its citizens.”

Sen. Dean Heller also praised the decision.

“A nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain has the potential to inflict immeasurable harm on the health and safety of Nevadans and our economy, and that’s why I’m pleased with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision today to grant Nevada’s motion to dismiss,” said Heller. “I applaud Governor Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt for their diligent work to ensure that Nevada’s voice is heard to stop this failed project and I’ll continue to work with them both to kill any attempts to resuscitate Yucca Mountain.”


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