State officials are praising a Federal Appeals Court ruling today that could restart the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository project; the previously planned permanent home for Hanford's nuclear waste.
Washington State and several petitioners including three individuals from the Tri-Cities have been fighting to restart the Yucca Mountain project and today they're calling this Federal Court of Appeals ruling a win in their battle.
"We thought that closing Yucca Mountain was a wrong decision and it was actually illegal," said Gary Petersen, the Vice President at TRIDEC.
The ruling explains that because a bill passed determining Yucca Mountain as the federal repository for nuclear waste, to put the project on hold is illegal.
"Why would we start over on another national repository when we've already got 30 years into this one, 12 billion dollars and it's 70 % complete," said Petersen.
Gary Peterson is one of three Tri-Citians who wrote a letter to President Obama in 2011. A report was being compiled that would determine whether the Nevada project was an ideal location for the storage of the waste.
"It was just about to be released by NRC when DOE, the NRC and the president decided that they would cease all work on Yucca Mountain," said Petersen.
But that could all change with this ruling and could lead to less waste being stored here in the Tri-Cities.
"That's good for the Tri-Cities frankly," explained WA State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. "It's good for the people of the state of Washington and good for that nuclear waste as well to be stored in a better location than Hanford and a safer location, and that spot is Yucca Mountain."
"I think from a community perspective we believe at least that the community deserves something for being that interim storage site," said Carl Adrian, president and CEO of TRIDEC.
Adrian went on to say he thinks that because the people of the Tri-Cities played a large role in the storage of 80% of the nation's nuclear weapons waste, the government should support future projects that would bring jobs to our area.
RICHLAND, Wash. - Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is reacting to the appeals court decision on a nuclear repository in Nevada.
"This ruling is especially great news for residents in the Tri-Cities area near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, who have been waiting for this project to move forward. Our attorneys presented a strong case that the federal government must follow the laws passed by Congress, and the court agreed," said Ferguson.
Congressman Doc Hastings agrees saying it's time to move forward with Yucca Mountain.
"This ruling reiterates that no Administration can ignore the law and represents a major victory for Hanford and Washington state," said Hastings.
One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the NRC was Tri-Cities resident, Gary Petersen of TRIDEC. He said, "If Yucca Mountain is not feasible, it could be 35 years before Hanford waste is moved to another site.
Washington, D.C.- A federal appeals court says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been violating federal law by delaying a decision on a proposed nuclear waste dump in Nevada.
By a 2-1 vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ordered the commission to complete the licensing process and approve or reject the Energy Department's application for a waste site at Nevada's Yucca Mountain.
In a sharply worded opinion, the court said the nuclear agency was "simply flouting the law" when it allowed the Obama administration to continue plans to close the proposed waste site near Las Vegas.
The action goes against a federal law designating Yucca Mountain as the nation's nuclear waste repository.
The court said the president can't ignore a congressional mandate simply because of policy objections.