Court Awards Duke Energy, Energy Northwest Spent Fuel Storage Costs

A federal court this week awarded $123 million to Duke Energy and Energy Northwest to cover the cost of storing several years worth of spent fuel after the Department of Energy promised to begin moving it to the mothballed Yucca Mountain repository in 1998.

Spent fuel casks at an unidentified nuclear plant. Source: NRCAs with several others, the nuclear-plant-owning utilities had won previous lawsuits against the government related to waste storage but were required to seek compensation in six-year intervals. As of April of last year, Congressional offices estimated those claims at $2.6 billion nationwide, with $20 billion in liability anticipated by 2020.

On Monday, a U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge awarded Duke Energy $103.7 million for spent fuel storage at the Harris, Brunswick, Robinson and Crystal River plants from 2006 to 2010. (Those units were previously owned by Carolina Power & Light and Florida Power Corp.)

On Tuesday, another judge awarded $19.3 million to Energy Northwest for dry storage costs at the Columbia Generating Station in Washington.

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