The federal government owes Maine Yankee Atomic Power Co. nearly $82 million in damages for failing to remove radioactive waste from the decommissioned nuclear reactor site in Wiscasset, a federal appeals court recently ruled.
The unanimous decision from the U.S Court of Appeals affirms a lower court's ruling, according to the Bangor Daily News. The ruling awards a total of nearly $160 million to three companies under The Yankee Cos. umbrella: Maine Yankee will receive $81.69 million; Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Co. will receive in $39.66 million; and Yankee Atomic Electric Co. of Massachusetts will receive $38.27 million. Maine Yankee filed a lawsuit in 1998 against the Department of Energy seeking payment of costs incurred because of the department's failure to transfer and store spent nuclear fuel as required by Congress. The suit was extended to include costs incurred through 2002 and to pay for a dry cask storage system – a total of $82 million.
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims awarded the companies roughly $143 million in damages in October 2006, but that decision was appealed. In August 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals sent the case back to the federal court, which again issued a favorable decision in September 2010. The government appealed one month later. The three companies have another lawsuit against the government pending for a total of $264 million; a decision could be issued later this year, the paper reported.
The government could appeal this most recent decision. If it doesn't, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will decide how much of the damages will benefit ratepayers.