The US Court of Appeals has recently ruled that the US Department of Energy (DoE) cannot use money from the Nuclear Waste Fund in order for it to compensate a utility for the enforced prolonged on-site storage of spent nuclear fuel.
The Court ruled that the money that has been put aside in that fund may only be used for authorised expenditures.
The lawsuit stemmed from a 1990 settlement involving Peach Bottom, which was operated by PECO Energy (which is now a part of Exelon). The DoE had decided in that settlement that it would allow PECO Energy to offset its contributions to the Nuclear Waste Fund by $80 million over a 10-year period, in exchange for PECO Energy agreeing that it would store its spent nuclear fuel in storage casks on-site. The settlement was challenged by 13 other reactor owners, who claimed that it was an illegal use of the fund money.