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Nevada sues US government to gain documents on Yucca Mountain waste site

[JURIST] The state of Nevada [government website] filed a lawsuit [press release] against the federal government Wednesday, seeking documents related to the planned Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump [advocacy website], including documents which allegedly contain information that the proposed site cannot meet radiation safety standards [JURIST report] mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website]. The Nevada Attorney General [official website] is seeking access to a draft application completed by contractors to obtain a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) [official website] to allow the dump. The state claims it is entitled to the documents under the Freedom of Information Act [text] and has made previous attempts to object to the draft application, including requests to President George Bush and the US Secretary of Energy.

A spokesman for the US Department of Energy [official website] said the department has already posted millions of pages of information regarding the planned dump [DOE materials] on the Internet, and that it is under no legal obligation to publicly release the application until it is formally sent to the NRC. The Energy Department had originally set 2010 as the year for the dump to open but licensing hearings are expected to take several years before the site can be approved. This is the fourth lawsuit that Nevada has filed to try and block the nuclear waste dump [JURIST report]. Nevada's Agency for Nuclear Projects [official website] has further information on the Yucca project. AP has more.

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