Joe Cavaretta, Associated Press
Federal nuclear regulators say the U.S. Energy Department will need to acquire water rights and a land buffer before it can entomb the nation's radioactive waste beneath a long-studied volcanic ridge in the Nevada desert.

LAS VEGAS — Federal nuclear regulators say the U.S. Energy Department will need to acquire water rights and a land buffer before it can entomb the nation's radioactive waste beneath a long-studied volcanic ridge in the Nevada desert.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a report Thursday saying most administrative and program elements of the Yucca Mountain repository meet commission requirements.

But it says land ownership of land and water rights remain a question.

The report is another step toward determining the fate of the site 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

The project was mothballed in 2010 after Barack Obama was elected president and Congress shut off funding.

It's getting a new look after a federal appeals court ruled the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must either approve or reject an Energy Department repository license.