The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has ruled that spent nuclear fuel would not be permanently stored at a proposed facility on Utah’s Skull Valley Indian reservation, rejecting the state’s latest attempt to block a licence for the site.

The ruling brings the prospect of the facility, which would temporarily store 4000 waste casks, one step closer and leaves the state with a final NRC hearing that will consider the fighter jet crash scenario. A consortium of eight companies under the name Private Fuel Storage aimed to build and operate the $3.1 billion facility.

The NRC is expected to make a final decision on the facility by the end of summer.

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