Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 | 11:22 a.m.
CARSON CITY — A court is expected to rule in the next few weeks whether the federal government will be forced to go forward with licensing of a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.
Bob Halstead, director of Nevada’s Nuclear Waste Project Office, and consultant Joe Strolin told the Nevada Senate Finance Committee the state is ready to challenge a ruling in favor of moving forward.
Aiken County and the state of South Carolina, Washington state and others filed a suit to force the Department of Energy to go forward with its licensing application for Yucca Mountain, which has been in a state of limbo.
There hasn’t been any money in the federal budget for the Energy Department to pursue licensing.
Sen. Debbie Smith, the chairwoman of the committee, said she is worried about sufficient funding for the state to carry on its battle to stop the repository.
Halstead said it would cost the state $4 million a year to continue the fight, and the licensing process could go on another four years.