Published: Jul 01, 2011 6:23 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 01, 2011 5:23 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration has won a legal battle in the fight over where to bury the nation's nuclear waste.

The federal appeals court in Washington on Friday ruled against South Carolina and Washington state, which want to ship radioactive spent nuclear fuel to a repository 90 miles from Las Vegas at Yucca Mountain.

Congress chose Yucca Mountain as the leading candidate for waste disposal. But opponents are concerned about contamination, and the Obama administration said it would not consider the site and would look for alternatives.

The appeals court ruled that it's not an appropriate time for it to intervene in the dispute because the Nuclear Regulatory Commission hasn't made a final decision yet on the Obama administration's move to dismantle the project. So the court threw out the case.

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