A U.S. District Court of Appeals in the nation\u2019s capital July 1 held that those seeking to reopen the proposed high-level nuclear dump at Yucca Mountain lack the means to argue their case. The federal court in Washington concluded the fate of the radioactive waste dump is in the commission\u2019s jurisdiction because the President cannot require the Nuclear Regulatory Commission--or any other agency--to shut down the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility. Therefore, the matter is not a valid claim in the ongoing litigation. Overlapping jurisdictions and chains-of-command caused the court to throw the case in the NRC\u2019s bailiwick--away from the federal administration and away from plaintiffs. The opinion notes \u201cthe case is a mess.\u201d The court concluded that President Obama \u201cdoes not have the final word\u201d about whether to terminate the Yucca Mountain waste dump. The appeal, from Washington State and South Carolina, questioned the Nuclear Regulatory Commission\u2019s ability to halt Yucca Mountain\u2019s development. The waste repository was closed down by the Department of Energy in 2010. Subsequently, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission abandoned its process to approve the facility. Utility ratepayers across the nation--like those for Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Pacific Gas & Electric--submit payments to a federal fund to build a permanent federal waste repository. Thus far, utility payments nationwide are $30 billion for such a facility--of which over $15 billion has been spent. As no federal permanent waste facility is forthcoming, California and other nuclear plant owners are building temporary dry cask radioactive waste storage facilities at power plants at additional expense. In the last few months, Congressional Republicans have sought to rekindle the Yucca Mountain development. They claim the money is already spent and the facility is not only partially built, but necessary to keep the nation\u2019s nuclear plants operating. To accomplish this, House Energy Committee leaders are hotly criticizing NRC chair Greg Jaczko\u2019s executive effectiveness in that agency\u2019s embrace of Yucca\u2019s demise. The committee held two hearings in which lawmakers condemned the commission chair for his role in pushing though Yucca Mountain\u2019s closure. \u201cThe NRC is allowing nuclear power consumers to continue paying for a program that is going nowhere. That\u2019s not fair,\u201d National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners executive director Charles Gray stated. The case is In Re Aiken County, docket #10-1050.