The decision to proceed with the Yucca Mountain disposal site should be overturned, because the government cannot give assurances that the site's geology will prevent radiation from seeping into the environment, the state of Nevada argues in a court filing.
The brief maintains that the Department of Energy (DoE) violated the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act by resorting to engineered barriers to contain the waste. Nevada argues that the Bush administration was "essentially abandoning" the 1982 law's "mandate that the site's geology form the primary isolation barrier" in selecting the Yucca Mountain site. The suit also argues that the DoE conducted a "flawed environmental review" of the site, disregarded procedures required under the law in determining the site's suitability, and failed to assess adequately problems involving the transport of waste to the site.
DoE officials have said the site is in full compliance with the 1982 requirements, as it relies on geology to contain the waste, and the engineered barriers only provide additional protection.