The nuclear industry asked a federal appeals court Sept. 26 to order the Department of Energy to stop collecting Nuclear Waste Fund (NWF) fees until a viable nuclear waste disposal program is in place and until DOE can evaluate whether further revenue collections are justified to offset the costs of such a program.
Industry attorney Jay Silberg of the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman argued for NEI, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and utility petitioners before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a case (NARUC v. DOE) that asks DOE to suspend NWF fee collection from nuclear utility ratepayers. The Nuclear Waste Fund was created under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to fund the Yucca Mountain radioactive waste repository program, which DOE and the administration unilaterally canceled three years ago.
The industry request is based on the argument that the Energy Department’s 2013 assessment of the adequacy of the NWF fees it collects is “legally deficient” because the department did not look at the correct program costs DOE is required to evaluate.