WASHINGTON (WACH, AP) -- Federal appeals court judges are considering whether the Obama administration had the authority to stop plans to bury the nation's nuclear waste in Nevada.
South Carolina and Washington state are among those suing the president and other federal officials to try to restart plans to ship their radioactive spent nuclear fuel to a repository 90 miles from Las Vegas at Yucca Mountain.
Congress had chosen Yucca Mountain as the leading candidate for waste disposal, but opponents are concerned about contamination and the Obama administration said it would not consider the site.
In December, then Gov.-elect Nikki Haley told President Barack Obama that South Carolina wants its money back if the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage site isn't opening.Related Stories Sen. Graham: Open nuke waste site in Nevada Haley: 'Give us our money back' Haley: SRS nuclear waste needs to leave SC
Haley said she told Obama that the federal government has reneged on its promise, and South Carolina wants a refund.
South Carolina's power plants and its customers have contributed more than $1 billion to a permanent repository over nearly 30 years.
Arguments before a three-judge panel of the appeals court in Washington on Tuesday focused on whether the federal government has made a final decision yet that the states can appeal.
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(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)