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NARUC, NEI sue to stop collection of nuclear waste fee


From the February 4, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published February 4, 2013

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director

State utility regulators and the nuclear industry asked a federal appeals court to reopen their lawsuit over the Nuclear Waste Fund fee and order the Department of Energy to suspend collection of fees from nuclear utility ratepayers. In a Jan. 31 motion filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the Nuclear Energy Institute said a Jan. 18 fee adequacy report by DOE is fundamentally flawed and does not justify continued collection of the fee of one-tenth of a cent for every kilowatt-hour of nuclear-generated electricity.

DOE has based its conclusion to continue to collect the Nuclear Waste Fund fee, unabated, on a new waste disposal plan that "has not been, and may never be, authorized and implemented by Congress," NARUC and NEI said. 

DOE’s fee adequacy report analyzed 42 different scenarios, but failed to consider whether collection of any further fees is needed to fund a disposal program, they said. Even though most of the scenarios show that the Nuclear Waste Fund "is overfunded, DOE admits that it made no effort to assess the probability of any of these scenarios, NARUC and NEI said. "The scenarios are thus as speculative as they are uncertain, and show that DOE has failed to conduct a meaningful analysis."

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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
Jeanne Wickline LaBella
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Robert Varela
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