Biden admin asks SCOTUS to clear path for nuclear waste storage

By Niina H. Farah | 06/20/2024 06:21 AM EDT

The question of how to handle spent fuel has plagued lawmakers since a planned permanent disposal site in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain lost political support.

The U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court. Francis Chung/E&E News

A legal brawl over where to temporarily store spent nuclear fuel from power plants — in the absence of a national repository — may be decided by the Supreme Court next year.

Federal nuclear regulators last week petitioned the justices to reverse a ruling from a lower court that blocked construction of a temporary nuclear waste storage facility in West Texas.

“Temporary storage of spent fuel remains necessary to facilitate ongoing operation of nuclear reactors and the decommissioning of retired reactors,” said Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar in a petition docketed June 12 on behalf of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.


The question of how to handle commercial waste from nuclear power plants has plagued lawmakers since plans to create a permanent site in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain lost political support in the Silver State and in Washington.