Entergy wins $34.5 million from feds in court ruling in nuclear waste case

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Oct. 13 awarded $34.5 million to Entergy Nuclear Indian Point 2 LLC over a claim about the federal government collecting fees for yet-unbuilt nuclear waste disposal facilities.

This round two spent nuclear fuel case was before the court following the partial breach by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) of the 1983 Standard Contract for Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel. Entergy Nuclear Indian Point 2 sought damages for the period Aug. 31, 2008, through June 30, 2013. Entergy claimed a total of $35,650,752 in damages, of which $7,847,288 was in dispute.

The disputed items are as follows: increased security costs ($2,355,777); North Anna-type fuel repairs ($1,599,939); PCI Services welding delay costs ($1,421,601); Part 171 Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) fees ($879,112); fuel characterization and debris removal costs ($626,823); Indian Point 1 cask loading and demobilization costs ($430,838); Holtec expediting fees and interest ($167,513); repairs made to a fuel handling machine and overhead crane ($134,529); Part 170 NRC fees ($71,186); costs associated with Manafort Brothers services ($67,784); and costs associated with the removal of contaminated soil ($33,988).

The court on Oct. 13 granted all of Entergy’s claims except for Part 171 NRC fees, the repairs to a fuel handling machine and overhead crane, and the Holtec expediting fees. In addition, the government sought a $223,545 reduction in damages for delays caused by Holtec rust issues. This proposed reduction was denied. In total, the court awarded damages to Entergy of $34,469,598.

Indian Point is a three-reactor nuclear plant located about 25 miles north of New York City on the Hudson River. Indian Point Unit 1 began commercial operations in September 1962, and was permanently shut down in October 1974. Indian Point Unit 2 began commercial operation in August 1974 and remains in operation. Only Indian Point Units 1 and 2 are involved in this case. Entergy owns both of these units.

Claims associated with Indian Point 3 were brought in a separate case at this court in August 2015.

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Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy's Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication's editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor's degree from Central Michigan University.

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