OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna issued the following statement today regarding the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejecting a request to stop the federal Department of Energy (DOE) from unilaterally terminating the Yucca Mountain development process:
“This case is far from over. The Court of Appeals today ruled only that our suit is premature because the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has not issued a decision on the merits of the application to build the Yucca Mountain repository or on the Department of Energy’s motion to withdraw that application.
We will review the Court’s decision and consider our options for moving forward in coordination with our clients in the Governor’s office, the Department of Ecology, and our fellow petitioners. However, we are encouraged that the Court recognized the federal government’s legal responsibility to provide for disposal of the nation’s high level waste and that Washington’s concerns regarding the federal government’s commitment to that responsibility are reasonable.
At stake is the ultimate cleanup of 53 million gallons of nuclear waste stored in Hanford’s large, leaky underground tanks. Our office is committed to continuing this fight to hold the federal government accountable for its responsibility to secure the nation’s nuclear waste.”
Janelle Guthrie, Director of Communications, (360) 586-0725