AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit against several federal agencies for allegedly violating the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA).
According to Paxton, the federal government failed in its obligation to complete the licensing process for a permanent nuclear waste storage repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. In his lawsuit, Paxton contends that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) needs to make an up-or-down vote on the licensing of Yucca Mountain.
Paxton claims that the federal government ignored a 2012 court-ordered deadline for a final decision on Yucca Mountain.
Because of this, taxpayers have been burdened with the costs of temporary, above-ground storage of nuclear waste, the lawsuit said. The government, according to Paxton, has spent $5.3 billion in taxpayer funds for temporary nuclear waste storage to date, and remaining liabilities for the waste will reach $23.7 billion, all at taxpayer expense. Paxton contends that more than $40 billion sits idle in the Nuclear Waste Fund.
“For decades, the federal government has ignored our growing problem of nuclear waste,” Paxton said. “The NRC’s inaction on licensing Yucca Mountain subjects the public and the environment to potential dangerous risks from radioactive waste. We do not intend to sit quietly anymore.”