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Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Thursday the proposed Yucca Mountain site in Nevada no longer is an option for storing highly radioactive nuclear waste, brushing aside criticism from several Republican lawmakers. Instead, Chu said the Obama administration believes the nearly 60,000 tons of waste in the form of used reactor fuel can remain at nuclear power plants while a new, comprehensive plan is developed. It was the most definitive signal yet that the government's attempt to address the commercial nuclear waste problem is veering in a new direction.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the decision threatens the expansion of nuclear energy because the government can give no assurance on waste disposal.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are planning to visit Britain, France, Germany and the Czech Republic in their first trip to Europe since the president took office. The trip will be March 31 through April 5.
Obama will begin in Britain for a G-20 summit on the global financial crisis. He will then take part in a NATO meeting in France and Germany and cap the trip in Prague for a U.S.-European Union conference.
A judge threw out a lawsuit questioning President Obama's citizenship, lambasting the case as a waste of the court's time.
In an argument popular on the Internet and taken seriously practically nowhere else, Obama's critics argue he is ineligible to be president because he is not a "natural-born citizen" as the Constitution requires. In response, Obama's campaign posted his Hawaiian birth certificate on its website.
"This case, if it were allowed to proceed, would deserve mention in one of those books that seek to prove that the law is foolish or that America has too many lawyers with not enough to do," U.S. District Judge James Robertson said. He ordered plaintiff's attorney John Hemenway of Colorado to show why he hasn't violated court rules barring frivolous and harassing cases and shouldn't have to pay Obama's attorney, Bob Bauer, for his time.