South Carolina has gained ground in its fight to keep Yucca Mountain open for nuclear waste. President Obama has withdrawn the Department of Energy permit request to open the site to take spent fuel from across the nation.
A federal court of appeals has agreed to fast-track the state’s argument and combine it with others. The briefs are due today. Attorney General Henry McMaster is making the case that states need the site and DOE does not have the power alone to stop it.
The problem is that the president, as we see it, does not have the authority to do that. Now the Congress has the authority to do that because the Congress is the one that passed the law that was signed by several preceding presidents, a bunch of laws that designated Yucca Mountain to be a repository. It’s just nothing but rock and desert. It’s the best place in the country for it.
Now because the DC court will hear the case, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has paused any actions until the court has ruled.
The Attorney General considers that to be promising for the state’s case.
The state has seven nuclear reactors, plus waste generated at the Savannah River Site. The spent fuel rods are safe for now in South Carolina, says McMaster, but says that is not where they are supposed to be stored for the long term.
The state’s arguments are due today at a federal court in Washington DC as South Carolina fights for Yucca Mountain in Nevada to be the national site to store nuclear waste.