Although it wasn’t a complete victory for those who believe in the need for a permanent national repository for nuclear waste, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling last week contained a welcome acknowledgement that short-term regional politics shouldn’t dictate our actions.

In January 2010, President Obama bowed to pressure from Nevada U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and others who disagree with storing the nation’s atomic waste at the remote Yucca Mountain site in Nevada.

This resulted in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission dismantling the long and expensive licensing process for the Yucca facility.

The Appeals Court ruled this violated the law, but a majority didn’t rule in favor of decisive action to make the NRC develop the site as Congress has previously legislated.

The ruling does at least make it clear that Yucca Mountain is still the legally designated destination for waste. But the court placed other action on hold, pending congressional action on funding.

Drifting along with no solution, kicking the can down the road for another generation, must not be the default answer. Like it or not, our nation created mountains of deadly nuclear waste — 56 million gallons of it at Hanford near the Columbia River in southeastern Washington state.

It must be dealt with, and Yucca is the best answer so far.

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