Supporters of a proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain say they're frustrated after an appeals court announced last week that they're delaying a decision.
Congress now has an extended time period to decide if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should be required to move forward with the license application process for the site. Congress now has until December 14th to decide if they want to change the law that requires the NRC to go through with the application. Several local businessmen filed a court petition saying the NRC must move forward with the license application because they've received government money.
One of the local petitioners, Gary Petersen, says the government has a legal duty to follow through with the licensing. He also points out that if the nuclear repository site isn't at Yucca Mountain, then it could be at Hanford.
"Absent of Yucca Mountain, if you start over again, this becomes the long term repository for all the high level waste without a vote of congress, merely acting on the administration's direction. So we said you've got to follow the law," says Petersen.
In 2010, President Obama asked to remove the application, but congress must decide that. If the Yucca Mountain site is created, Hanford waste would go there after being treated at the vitrification plant.