The legal battle over the U.S. Energy Dept.’s nuclear-waste storage program took a turn on April 14, when the agency halted closure of Nevada’s Yucca Mountain repository following a legal challenge by Washington state. Its suit challenges the order’s legality and includes a request to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to withdraw the facility’s application. The state says DOE lacks authority to terminate Yucca Mountain, claiming the move hikes risks at federal nuclear-waste sites, including Hanford in eastern Washington. An appeals court in Washington, D.C., ordered DOE to halt layoffs of repository staff and work by contractors until after May
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.