Nuclear waste storage settlement nets NPPD $60mn

The U.S. Department of Energy will pay nearly $60.6 million to the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) as part of a settlement over costs incurred by the power provider for on-site storage of used nuclear fuel from the 830 MW Cooper nuclear power plant.

The settlement covers the costs NPPD incurred through 2009 for building an independent spent fuel storage facility at the Cooper site to store used nuclear fuel that previously had been stored in the used fuel pool. Costs incurred for used fuel storage between 2010 through 2013 will be submitted annually to the DOE.

Several utilities filed lawsuit against DOE after plans for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository were canceled. The utilities had been paying into a nuclear waste fund since at least 1983.

DOE was required to begin receiving the fuel in 1998, but did not. That left many nuclear power plants forced to construct and operate on-site storage facilities.

An official with NPPD was quoted as saying the payment would be used for working capital and to buy new fuel supplies.

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