D.C. appeals court sets date for Yucca lawsuit

LAS VEGAS -- A Washington, D.C., appeals court plans oral arguments March 22 in a lawsuit aimed at blocking the federal government from pulling the plug on plans to bury high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nev.

Washington state, South Carolina, Aiken County, S.C., and three Tri-City business leaders are arguing that the Obama administration overstepped its authority in moving to shut down the Yucca Mountain project.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported the date was set in the case to be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Columbia Circuit.

Plaintiffs said the shut-down leaves states dealing with tons of radioactive material that should be buried in the proposed repository 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Hanford's high-level radioactive waste and used fuel from commercial nuclear power plants, including the one near Richland, have been planned to go to Yucca Mountain.

The Department of Energy argues the administration has the right to change federal nuclear waste policy.