DOE Owes $82.8 Million For Nuclear Fuel Disposal

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Department of Energy owes two power companies $82.8 million after failing to dispose of nuclear fuel as promised, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled.

     Judge Wheeler said DOE must pay for the companies’ construction of a new nuclear plant, as well as for the shipment of spent fuel.
     Carolina Power & Light and Florida Power Corp. filed suit against the DOE seeking $91 million for breach of contract. The companies operate five nuclear reactors in the Southeast.
     The trial lasted nine days and focused on how much money the companies were entitled to receive. Wheeler said the plaintiffs have not received much in return for the $661 million in fees they have paid through the end of 2005.
     “DOE has yet to collect and dispose of any spent fuel,” Wheeler wrote, “even as nuclear plant owners have been paying billions of dollars in fees.”
     The amount of damages was lower than the power companies requested, because DOE was not found liable for a re-racking project and a cooling system upgrade.

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