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July 24, 2014

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Nevada calculating cost to continue Yucca Mountain legal battle

Yucca Mountain

The U.S. Energy Department plans to store spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain, an extinct volcano about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

CARSON CITY — The head of Nevada’s Nuclear Projects Office isn’t ready to say how much it will cost to continue the fight against Yucca Mountain now that it has lost a key court battle.

In February, Bob Halstead told a legislative budget subcommittee it would cost $4 million a year if the state lost its court battle. But Halstead said today his office is gathering an update on those costs.

The licensing process could go on for four years.

No decision has been made whether to ask the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to reconsider its 2-1 decision that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must restart considering whether to license Yucca Mountain for the storage of high-level nuclear waste.

Nevada must decide by Sept. 27 whether to ask the federal court to reconsider the ruling.

The Department of Energy filed the original application to license Yucca Mountain and then, on orders of President Barack Obama, suspended its efforts.

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