The plan for a long-delayed nuclear waste dump limped forward today, possibly toward its own demise. A federal appeals court told the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it must decide on whether to approve the facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, Reuters reports. But the Obama administration and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who is from Nevada, are aiming to scuttle the project and would likely block future funding.
The Yucca debate dates back some 40 years, when the US wanted a place to store its nuclear waste. That waste is now held at more than 100 sites, a solution approved by the NRC as long as a national repository is constructed within 60 years. The NRC made no comment on the ruling, but has just $11 million left for the project. Dissenting judge Merrick Garland said the ruling adds up to "little more than ordering the commission to spend part of those funds unpacking its boxes, and the remainder packing them up again." (Read more Yucca Mountain stories.)