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losing. According to the Justice Department, out of the 72 cases filed against the government, 26 have reached final court decisions, and taxpayers have paid out $1.4 billion to nuclear utilities. Justice expects 25 more cases to be filed over the next two fiscal years. The Government Accountability Office projects the money owed to utilities will reach $7 billion by 2017, $12.3 billion by 2020 and $500 million each year after 2020. That means paying three times for waste disposal. And the waste hasn't moved one inch. Here's the real kicker: Neither Mr. Obama nor Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has offered any scientific ortechnical justification for closing Yucca Mountain. The issues surrounding Yucca are purely political, despite Mr. Obama's push to detach science from politics. After announcing his top science advisers, the president said, "It's about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it's inconvenient - especially when it's inconvenient."Except when it's inconvenient to well-connected political leaders. If politicians eager to shut down Yucca are so confident that the science is on their side, why not allow the NRC to finish its work on the repository? Luckily, the NRC has decided not to just go along to get along. Citing a bevy of legal challenges questioning the Obama administration's authority to compel the NRC to stop work on Yucca, the commission this week announced that it would continue its Yucca work until the court system rules on those lawsuits.