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NRC allows closure of Yucca Mountain nuclear dump via Las Vegas Sun

The Associated Press

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011 | 3:35 a.m.

A divided Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday allowed the Obama administration to continue plans to close the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada.

The commission split, 2-2, on whether to uphold or reject a decision by an independent nuclear licensing board. The board voted last year to block the Energy Department from withdrawing its application for Yucca Mountain, a remote site 90 miles from Las Vegas. The licensing board said the government failed to make a scientific case for why the application should be withdrawn.

Despite the split vote, the NRC said in an order Friday that the licensing board should continue steps to close out work on Yucca Mountain by the end of the month, citing “budgetary limitations.”

The Energy Department has not requested additional funding for Yucca Mountain, and NRC spending on Yucca expires at the end of the month.

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