The U.S. Department of Energy is facing attacks on two fronts in federal courts over the disposal of spent nuclear fuel. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Erika Johnson reports:
The U.S. Department of Energy is facing attacks on two fronts in federal courts over the disposal
of spent nuclear fuel. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Erika Johnson reports:
Dozens of nuclear power companies are suing the federal government for nearly 50-billion
dollars. The power companies allege the Department Of Energy violated a contract with them.
The companies have been paying the government to develop a nuclear waste storage site at Yucca
Mountain in Nevada. Under the contract, starting in 1998, the Department of Energy was
supposed to dispose of this spent nuclear fuel from the plants. But that hasn’t happened, so the
utilities want millions of dollars each for damages to cover the costs of storing the waste on-site.
Craig Nesbit is Director of Communications for Exelon Nuclear.
“What’s at stake is simply the costs of building the facilities to store it. The Department of
Energy’s problem is that it doesn’t have anywhere to put it right now. That’s what Yucca
Mountain is for, and Yucca Mountain has not been fully developed.”
But the federal government’s plan to store the nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain has been blocked
by the state of Nevada in courts. The cases are expected to last up to several years.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Erika Johnson.