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For Immediate Release: August 13, 2013
Contact: Robert J. Thormeyer, 202-898-9382, rthormeyer@naruc.org

Court Decision Gives Nuclear-Waste Program a New Chance, NARUC Says

WASHINGTON--The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners issued the following statement in reaction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit order directing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to resume its review of the Yucca Mountain, Nev., license application:
"At long last, this court decision will direct the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to comply with the law and continue its legally obligated review of the license for the proposed nuclear-waste repository in Yucca Mountain, Nev. It is unfortunate it took litigation and this decision to require the NRC to comply with its responsibilities under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, but this decision sends a message that federal agencies cannot ignore laws they do not like.

“This case is not so much about Yucca Mountain as it is about due process. Existing law requires the NRC to determine whether the facility and location is safe for storing spent-nuclear fuel. Even if it does, the fate of Yucca Mountain remains uncertain. But the NRC is the only agency with the authority and expertise to make the judgment that the facility will meet safety and other regulatory requirements. No matter what the eventual outcome will be, we can learn a great deal from their review, because geologic storage of nuclear-waste remains the most viable option going forward. Thankfully the courts recognized the clear disregard for the law the administration has shown in this proceeding. Now our government has a chance to get this program back on its feet.”
--NARUC President Philip Jones of Washington

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NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.

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