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Where to put spent U.S. nuclear fuel via Politico

Nonetheless, consolidating that waste on federal property would improve security and allow the federal government to finally fulfill its obligations under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. Doing so will save taxpayers billions of dollars in legal costs.

Over the past few years, a number of nuclear utilities successfully sued the federal government for not taking their radioactive waste as required under the act. The latest successful litigant: Xcel Energy, which, in July, announced a $100-million settlement with the Energy Department.

More litigation is certain. Last month, two states – South Carolina and Washington – along with a coalition of utility regulators, sued the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in an effort to compel the agency to restart its review of the Yucca Mountain waste project.

The federal government has already paid out $956 million to the utilities, according to the Government Accountability Office. “Future liabilities,” the GAO reported in June, “are estimated to be at least $15.4 billion through 2020.”

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