CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) _ A Nevada board has extended a contract with a Washington, D.C. law firm to continue its fight against licensing of Yucca Mountain.

The Board of Examiners on Tuesday authorized $5 million to continue the contract with the firm of Egan, Fitzpatrick, Malsch and Lawrence.

But state officials say a protracted legal showdown is unlikely despite a federal appeals court ruling last month that said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission improperly halted licensing hearings on the proposed repository.

Officials say the federal government only has $11 million left in a nuclear waste licensing account, a sum that won’t go very far, given that the Department of Energy has already spent $670 million on licensing. Total DOE licensing costs, if the project were to be resurrected, are estimated a $2.3 billion.



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