Case Notes: Regulatory challenge: Implications for radioactive waste management in the United States

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FACTS

The State of Nevada, local communities, the nuclear industry1 and several environmental organisations challenged the statutory and regulatory scheme for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. There were three types of dispute. In the first group, challenges weremade to the regulations issued by the three regulatory authorities, namely the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the US Department of Energy (DOE). Secondly, the process by which Congress had selected the Yucca Mountain site was challenged on grounds of constitutionality and thirdly, actions of the President and the Energy Secretary were challenged. This case note is mainly concerned with the outcome of the successful regulatory challenge, which has implications for the future development of the radioactive waste management programme in the United States.

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