Decades-Long Yucca Mountain Battle Could Flare Up

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Officials in the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects religiously check their computers every Tuesday and Friday as soon as they wake up because a pivotal ruling from federal courts on Nevada's top nuclear interest is expected anytime now.

The ruling could mean a difference of $7 million in the agency's annual budget - nearly $2 million of which the agency would request from the state.

Executive Director Bob J. Hallstead says he doesn't expect the court to terminate the licensing effort by completely rejecting the petition, so it is likely the fight against the 1987 project is not over just yet.

But he adds that without substantial funding from Congress, the project is finished. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission simply can't pay the project's enormous bills without an appropriation.