Yucca Fighters Urge Vigilance

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - While heartened by the Obama administration's opposition to a high-level nuclear waste dump at Nevada's Yucca Mountain, a state panel fighting the project was told Wednesday it can't let up on its efforts.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Marta Adams told the state Nuclear Projects Commission that the proposed federal dump "is on its way to dying" but added there are "endless appeals" aimed at keeping the federal Department of Energy project alive.

The Bush administration had applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a construction and operating license. But President Obama's 2010 budget calls for scrapping much of the spending planned on Yucca Mountain.

Bruce Breslow, the state commission's new executive director, said he believes that given the Obama administration's stance on the dump "a political decision will lead to the licensing application being withdrawn" before any NRC hearing is held.

Bob Halstead, a longtime transportation consultant to the state commission, said the DOE in January released a plan for transporting the waste across the country, but added the plan is badly flawed.

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