Nuclear waste storage costs awarded to SoCalEdison

Southern California Edison (SCE) may recover more than $23 million in indirect overhead costs for storing spent nuclear fuel that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said it would remove.

The costs are from a dry storage facility SCE built in 2001 in response to DOE’s alleged breach of a 1983 contract to dispose of nuclear waste from the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Reuters reported that SoCal Edison filed suit seeking contract damages from the government, including the costs of building the facility and indirect overhead costs.

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled after a six-day trial that SoCal Edison was entitled to $142.4 million in contract damages, including $23.7 million for indirect overhead costs.

The government challenged only the award of overhead costs in its appeal to the Federal Circuit. It argued SoCal Edison had failed at trial to separate the overhead costs caused by the breach from other non-breach-related overhead costs.

The appeals court denied the appeal. The decision found that DOE remains in breach of the contract and does not envision that it will begin accepting waste until 2020, if at all.

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