Energy Department to appeal over Yucca Mountain

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Energy served notice Thursday it will appeal a move by federal regulators to delay decisions on terminating the Yucca Mountain project.

The department is opposing an order this week by administrative judges at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to have a federal appeals court rule first on legal issues connected to the shutdown.

In a court filing Thursday, attorneys for DOE and NRC said the matter will be appealed on Monday to the commissioners that oversee the NRC and who have the final word on how the nuclear safety agency will proceed.

According to DOE officials, the department believes it has the authority to withdraw a license application for the Nevada nuclear waste site. DOE is fighting lawsuits from the states of Washington and South Carolina and Aiken, S.C., that argue only Congress can end the project.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at or 202-783-1760.