South Carolina is still trying to get Nevada to take nuclear waste at its Yucca Mountain site. This morning in the Washington D.C. federal Court of Appeals, the state of South Carolina and Aiken County — home of the Savannah River nuclear site —made arguments that a law requires that the Yucca Mountain facility be completed and that the President must follow that law.
In 2009, the Obama Administration announced their intent to withdraw the 8,000-page Yucca Mountain licensing application with prejudice. In June 2010, the Atomic Safety Licensing Board ruled in favor of the states and today the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on the matter.
South Carolina and Aiken County were parties in the original suit, which argues the administration is violating the National Waste Policy Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, and the Separation of Powers protections provided by the United States Constitution.South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson calls President Obama’s plan to halt plans for the Nevada repository as being “wrong and unconstitutional,” He says, “The American people have paid over $31 billion (including interest) towards that project.”
Wilson contends that taxpayers also are hit a second and third time to cover the costs associated with expansion and security of current nuclear waste storage tanks located at plant sites like SRS. He says there are also $200 million in legal fees, and over $2 billion in judgments against the Department of Energy for breaking utility contracts associated with Yucca Mountain.
Attorney Ken Woodington represented the state of South Carolina and attorney Tom Gottshall represented Aiken County.