Las Vegas Sun

June 24, 2019

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Nevada wants Texas nuclear waste lawsuit dismissed

Yucca Mountain

John Locher/Associated Press file

Participants in a 2015 congressional tour of Yucca Mountain enter the project’s south portal. The site is near the Nevada town of Mercury, about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Nevada is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit that could impact proceedings for a proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

The state is intervening in a case filed by Texas against the federal government over nuclear waste storage. Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office announced in a release Wednesday that it had filed the motion to dismiss, one of several legal actions planned to stop the project.

“Yucca Mountain would come at the direct expense of the health and safety of Nevadans, and this petition would diminish Nevada’s ability to make its case against this ill-conceived project,” Sandoval said in a statement.

Texas is suing to hasten a decision on the project from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where the licensing proceeding would take place. Nevada is fighting for a full licensing process, according to the state’s Wednesday release.

“The state of Nevada will continue to fight and defeat this dangerous project at every opportunity and in any venue,” Sandoval said. “This week’s action is an important step in our continued and relentless efforts to defeat the proposal to store high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.”

The governor, Attorney General’s office and the Agency for Nuclear Projects are working together on planning the anti-Yucca legal strategy, according to Sandoval’s office.

"Nevada will continue to battle any and every attempt to dump unwanted nuclear waste in its backyard," Attorney General Adam Laxalt said in a statement.

“We are encouraged that the Fifth Circuit recognized Nevada's vital interest in any legal proceeding related to Yucca Mountain, and we are hopeful that the Court will also recognize Texas's attempt to circumvent Congress," Laxalt said.

Sandoval’s office says the next major actions in the Texas case are expected June 30 and July 30.

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