Feds Have Collected Billions for Nonexistent Nuke Project
And that practice must end, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2013 7:07 AM CST
This June 10, 1992, handout file photo shows the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Dump in Mercury, Nev.   (AP Photo/File)

(Newser) – Ever since 1983, the Energy Department has been collecting fees paid for by Americans who use nuclear-generated electricity. The tenth-of-a-cent charge per each kilowatt-hour of electricity adds up to about $750 million a year, earmarked to pay for a program disposing of these power plants' nuclear waste. Only, uh, that program doesn't actually exist, so a federal appeals court ruled yesterday that the DOE must stop collecting the fees, the New York Times reports. The waste was to be disposed of at the Yucca Mountain repository, but the Obama administration halted work on the facility in 2010, Politico reports.

"Nuclear utilities and their consumers have paid more than $30 billion since the early 1980s for the construction of a nuclear-waste repository," says the executive director of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, which filed the lawsuit over the fees. "These consumers have upheld their end of the deal, but unfortunately all they have to show for their investment is a hole in the Nevada desert." The judge agreed, saying it's "quite unfair to force petitioners to pay fees for a hypothetical option." About $7 billion collected had already been spent, largely on the Yucca project, and about $30 billion remains; the fees could be reinstated once the DOE figures out how to deal with the nuclear waste. The Times notes the DOE's timeline now has it slated to open a repository by 2048.

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Ezekiel 25:17
Nov 20, 2013 7:54 PM CST
Yucca Mountain project is a boondoggle of boondoggles. The Nobel prize of boondoggles. They have a fancy office in Northwest Las Vegas with a full staff of engineers, officers, secretaries, company cars, artwork, benefits, company paid trips, and everything that comes with any really good boondoggle. But Oslumbo doesn't want them to bury the waste there because it would bring billions of government dollars to Las Vegas and you know, he hates Sin City. So the already billions the government has spent there really doesn't factor into the equation. So, instead of the waste being at a secure facility underground and safe from terrorists, the barrels sit in nuclear power plant warehouses just waiting for enough terrorists to overpower the security and take it and then pour it in downtown D.C. thus making it uninhabitable until the next ice age in the year 72000.
Nov 20, 2013 4:57 PM CST
The judge agreed, saying it's "quite unfair to force petitioners to pay fees for a hypothetical option." Isn't that what Obamacare is all about?
Nov 20, 2013 3:39 PM CST
Simple, cheeeeep solution for dealing with waste. Out in the middle of some godforsaken federal wasteland, pile it all up, put a fence around it, post signs (with Spanish subtitles) saying: "Don't fukk with this stuff -- it will KILL you" Then walk away. Anyone getting in and getting hurt IMPROVES THE GENE POOL.