- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Latest on a fight over a proposed nuclear plant in Utah (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

A lawyer for a company seeking to build the first nuclear power plant in Utah says they’re glad to hear a group of environmentalists is dropping their legal appeal over water rights for the project.

David C. Wright, who represents Blue Castle Holdings, said Wednesday that the project can move forward now that it’s not being bogged down with a court fight.

HEAL Utah announced Wednesday it would not appeal a ruling allowing the facility to pull water from the Green River to cool nuclear reactors when it is built. The group says that leaves Blue Castle on the hook to start making large payments on the water rights.

Wright says he’s confident the company can make the payments and disputes arguments that there isn’t enough water for the project.

The proposal is years away from getting approval for construction.

___

2:15 p.m.

Environmentalists who’ve spent almost a decade fighting a plan to build Utah’s first nuclear power plant say they’re dropping their legal appeals against the eastern Utah project but are still fighting the facility.

HEAL Utah announced Wednesday it would not contest a Utah Court of Appeals ruling last month allowing the facility to pull water from the Green River to cool nuclear reactors should it ever be built.

HEAL Utah executive director Matt Pacenza says by dropping the battle over water rights, the company that wants to build the plant, Blue Castle Holdings, will be forced to start paying hundreds of thousands of dollars on those water rights.

Pacenza doesn’t believe the company can afford that and says the plant is unlikely to be built.

A message left with Blue Castle’s attorney was not immediately returned.

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