Utah is going before federal regulators, opposing a radwaste storage proposal in that state.

The NRC has started hearings on a bid by eight utilities to store up to 40,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel on land owned by the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians. The NRC is expected to make a decision in September.

The site would be run for 20 years by Private Fuel Storage, led by Xcel Energy. The project has an option for a 20-year extension.

Utah argues that the 1982 federal Nuclear Waste Policy Act bars private waste storage away from nuclear plants. However, this Act may not apply, as Indian reservations have a special status as semi-sovereign land, and the Goshute have actively solicited the storage project.