WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators have rejected a petition by the state of Nevada against the government's license application for a nuclear waste dump 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

The Energy Department filed the license application June 3. The next day Nevada filed a petition asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reject it.

The move was in keeping with Nevada's persistent opposition to the planned 77,000-ton underground dump, which Congress approved in 2002 as the first national repository for radioactive waste.

Nevada raised various objections to the 8,600-page license application.

A Nevada resident and dump opponent, Jacob Paz, filed a separate petition opposing the application.

In an order Friday, the NRC rejected both petitions, saying they were premature because the agency hasn't yet decided whether to "docket" the license application, or formally accept it for review.

That decision should be made sometime in September and is based on whether the application is complete enough to be considered. It's a separate decision from determining whether to accept or reject the application, which is expected to be a four-year process for the regulatory commission.

If the application is docketed, a hearing notice will be published, at which point the regulatory commission will be prepared to consider petitions from opponents, Friday's order said.