Idaho officials say they will go to a federal appeals court in their battle to keep nuclear waste shipments from coming into the state.
U.S. District Judge Harold Ryan ruled Tuesday that Gov. Cecil Andrus improperly barred shipments from a Colorado nuclear plant to a Department of Energy installation that had routinely accepted them for years. After a 45-minute hearing, Ryan said the action violated federal supremacy over interstate commerce."Although the governor's position may be politically favorable, it clearly violates the Constitution and is completely unsupported in the laws," Ryan said.
State attorneys and Andrus said the decision was expected and they would go to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco by the end of the week.
Ryan signed an order forbidding Andrus or any other state employee from interfering with shipments of spent nuclear fuel from the decommissioned reactor at Fort St. Vrain operated by Public Service Co. of Colorado.
Public Service said it would immediately start notifying local and state agencies that it plans to resume shipments. Andrus attorney Jon Carter said Idaho will seek an order continuing to block shipments while it presses its own lawsuit over nuclear waste.
PSC spokeswoman Kim DeVigil said the Denver-based utility would not be able to complete the notification process and begin shipments by the end of the week, if the state wins a restraining order by then.