Wash. to intervene in Yucca Mountain - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wash. to intervene in Yucca Mountain

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RICHLAND, Wash. -- Washington state plans to intervene in the federal government's decision to withdraw its license application for a Nevada nuclear waste repository.

The U.S. Energy Department had long planned to send waste from south-central Washington's Hanford nuclear reservation to Yucca Mountain, a proposed repository. But the agency has a motion pending to withdraw its license application "with prejudice." That means it would be permanently removed from consideration as the nation's radioactive waste repository.

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna said Monday the state would intervene in the case.

On Friday, a federal court awarded Energy Northwest nearly $57 million in damages from the Energy Department for breach of contract for failing to take the Northwest utility's spent nuclear fuel.

Energy Northwest operates Columbia Generating Station, the only commercial nuclear reactor in the Northwest. The spent fuel was to have gone to Yucca Mountain.

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