A federal court has turned back Nevada's challenge to a Dept. of Energy environmental review and rail transport plan for a proposed nuclear waste repository under Yucca Mountain.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Aug. 8 rejected some Nevada claims and said it was premature to rule on others. Still, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), a project critic, said the state has other cases pending and contends the repository "will never be built and will never open."

Nevada argued DOE overreached in 2004 when it chose a corridor from Caliente, Nev., to Yucca Mountain as its preferred rail route to carry waste to the site. But the court rejected the state's claim that DOE's plan violates the National Environmental Policy Act.