Three New England nuclear power plants have won a long-fought battle for reimbursement of costs associated with the disposal of waste material. The business litigation pitted Massachusetts' Yankee Atomic, Connecticut Yankee and Maine Yankee against the federal government to recover almost $160 million in expenses. While the federal government has decided not to appeal a decision by the U. S. Court of Appeals awarding the costs, the litigation continues with the plants' claim for an additional $247 million in reimbursement to ratepayers.
The plants claimed that the money they had previously collected from the government was earmarked for disposal expenses. However, they were forced to use this money to pay for storage facilities since the government, which had originally contracted to remove the waste, had nowhere to put it. The states attempted to force the government to comply with its original agreement, but the current administration has stalled the development of a storage site in Nevada.
In the meantime, the nuclear waste is still being stored in steel canisters that are then enclosed in dry casks and ready to be transported when the time comes. However, the cost to the companies remains high, at $7 million to $11 million per year for each storage site. There are an estimated 72,000 tons of nuclear waste currently being stored.
Business litigation, especially when it involves a government agency, can be complex and frustrating. In order to successfully navigate a lawsuit against a government entity or another company, many business owners turn to a business attorney for advice. By seeking sound legal advice, business owners are better informed and are able to make good decisions about whether to pursue litigation or seek other remedies.
Source: News Telegram, "Nuke plants win payment," Stephen Singer, Feb. 8, 2013