South Carolina Wins Yucca Mountain Case in DC.

COLUMBIA – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson issued the following response to today’s ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ordering the Yucca Mountain licensing application to go forward.

“This decision reaffirms a fundamental truth: the President is not above the law. His administration cannot pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore,” said Wilson.

“The D.C. Court of Appeals ruling speaks volumes by including the following statements:

“…The Commission is simply flouting the law.” (Page 5)

“…We now grant the petition for writ of mandamus against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.” (Page 5)

“…The President may not decline to follow a statutory mandate or prohibition simply because of policy objections.” (Page 6)

“…The Nuclear Regulatory Commission must promptly continue with the legally mandated licensing process.” (Page 22)

“Congress passed laws designating Yucca Mountain as America’s nuclear lock box. The American people have paid over $31 Billion (including interest) towards that project. The federal government has our money, while we still have to deal with their nuclear waste,” continued Wilson.

“The site work has already been done. A 6 mile tunnel to nowhere exists in the middle of Yucca Mountain to enable this project to be completed as quickly as possible for the safety of the American people and our nuclear waste,” concluded Wilson.

In terms of background:

In 2009, the Obama Administration announced their intent to withdraw the 8,000 page Yucca Mountain licensing application with prejudice.

Shortly thereafter, the State of South Carolina along with Aiken County, the State of Washington and three of her citizens filed suit to ensure completion of the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository.

Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, signed into law in 1983, 65 separate utility companies signed contracts to enable a nuclear waste repository which was designated for Yucca Mountain in 2002.

As a result, electric customers currently pay 1/10 of a cent per kilowatt hour towards the nuclear waste fund, which is designated for the construction of nuclear waste. Additionally, rate payers are hit a second and third time to cover the costs associated with expansion and security of current nuclear waste storage tanks.

On top of those charges, taxpayers are on the hook for $200 Million legal fees and over $2 Billion in judgments against the Department of Energy for breaking the contracts associated with Yucca Mountain.

A copy of the order can be found here.

Additional information about South Carolina’s case regarding Yucca Mountain can be found here. 

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Columbia, SC

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