Entergy Nuclear sues DOE over Nuclear Waste Fund

Entergy Nuclear (NYSE: ETR) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy for failing to provide a nuclear waste disposal facility for the Palisades nuclear power plant and the shuttered Big Rock nuclear power plant, both in Michigan.

Entergy said in the lawsuit filed Sept. 26 that the utility has paid $6 million a year into the government’s Nuclear Waste Fund, which is supposed to cover the government’s costs of removing spent nuclear waste. Congress enacted the Nuclear Waste PA in 1982, and companies have since paid more than $30 billion into it. DOE was supposed to begin disposing of spent fuel on January 31, 1998, but has not done that and has no current plans to.

In 2002, Consumers Energy, which previously owned both plants, sued the government for breach of contract. The court ruled in its favor in 2005. Entergy bought the plants from Consumers in April 2007.

In June 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that DOE has failed to justify continued payments into the fund, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.

Big Rock has since been closed and decommissioned, but the spent nuclear fuel from the plant is still being stored on site.

To read the complaint, click here.

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