Will Nuclear Waste Site Be Built Afterall?

By: Chris Hunt
By: Chris Hunt

North Platte State Senator Don Pederson says lawmakers have been told by the governor's office there may be no choice but to offer to allow a nuclear waste dump in Nebraska, probably in Boyd County.
"When you've had two judgements against you and the meter is running at $7,000 a day(interest from court judgements), its important you have some kind of resolution to this lawsuit", Pederson adds. But Governor Mike Johanns says its too early to say whether a site will be offered to settle the lawsuit. "To telegraph where I might go or what I might do or should do and might want to do, really could jeopardize that(settlement)", Johanns commented Wednesday.

Nebraska has lost twice in court and owes $151 million to four other states. Those states, plus Nebraska, formed a five state compact that sought to build a low-level nuclear waste site. The compact eventually settled on Boyd County. But the Nelson administration denied a license to build and operate a site in Boyd County, claiming it failed to meet scientific standards for waste dumps. The compact sued, claiming the Nelson Administration deliberately affected the licensing process. The compact won, and won again when Nebraska appealed.

Lawmakers are debating now how to settle that lawsuit. The appeals court is being asked to reconsider its ruling. A decision on that reconsideration will likely come later this summer. That will exhaust Nebraska's legal avenues and force the state into action.


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