Judge gives Nevada a boost in its efforts to avoid nuke dump | NevadaAppeal.com

Judge gives Nevada a boost in its efforts to avoid nuke dump

If the federal government won’t listen to Nevadans about Yucca Mountain, maybe they’ll listen to U.S. District Court Judge Roger Hunt.

The judge ruled the Department of Energy must comply with the state’s water rules, which in effect shuts down the drilling operations the department has been conducting to gather evidence for the viability of the nuclear waste storage site.

Hunt accurately characterized the department’s attitude toward Yucca as “arrogant” in its single-minded pursuit of the project against mounting scientific evidence. Not only does the agency want to put the storage facility in a state where the majority of residents do not want it, but they want to use our water to make it happen.

The judge’s ruling sent a strong message, and one that may help wash away recent decisions by Gov. Jim Gibbons that seemed to offer support to the Energy Department. In one, he supported allowing DOE to use the states’ water for an additional month, raising the ire of the state’s Congressional delegation, and in another he appointed a Yucca supporter to the state’s nuclear watchdog committee before quickly rescinding the decision after the subsequent outcry.

But that’s water under the bridge now, and it’s just a waiting game to see what DOE will do next in its bid to foist this project on Nevada.

In the meantime, there’s good reason for outrage not only over the agency’s, and the Bush Administration’s, disrespect for state’s rights, but over the continued waste of taxpayer dollars on the project.