Appeals court to hear arguments in Yucca Mountain lawsuit

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has set March 22 for oral arguments in a lawsuit against the Department of Energy for terminating the Yucca Mountain Project.

South Carolina, Washington state, Aiken County, S.C., and a trio of Washington state businessmen have charged that the Obama administration overstepped its authority when it cut off funding last year for the Nevada nuclear waste site .

Attorneys argue the Yucca shutdown leaves thousands of tons of radioactive material stranded in those states that otherwise would have been sent to an underground repository that was being developed by the government until the administration pulled the plug.

They are asking the court to reverse the decision.

DOE lawyers say the administration was within its rights to change policy on how nuclear waste material is managed.

The state of Nevada is not directly attached to the case but is involved as an intervening party in support of the Energy Department.

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