The Energy Department may be unable to set a reliable date for completing a high-level nuclear waste dump in Nevada until it wins state permission to begin site studies, a department official says. Completion of the dump proposed for Yucca Mountain, about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, originally was scheduled for 1998 and currently is set for 2003. Nevada has refused to grant the environmental permits needed by the Energy Department to begin test drilling on the site.

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