Maine Yankee Reimbursement Will Lower Costs for Maine Ratepayers

February 7, 2013

For Immediate Release: Thursday, Feb. 7
Contact: Patrick Woodcock, Energy Director, cell (207) 441-0359

AUGUSTA – Patrick Woodcock, director of the Governor’s Energy Office, today welcomed the long awaited decision of the federal government to reimburse Maine Yankee $81.7 million for interim storage costs of spent nuclear fuel.

The U.S. Department of Energy, required to develop a long-term storage solution for spent fuel and waste, has yet to come up with a solution for long-term waste storage. Since 1998, Maine Yankee and Maine ratepayers have been incurring costs to store spent fuel in Wiscasset. Maine Yankee sued the federal government to recoup those costs. After fourteen years of litigation, the feds have finally reimbursed Maine Yankee for the first phase of those costs.

“While this litigation again reminds us of Washington’s failures to solve long-standing problems, this outcome is positive for Maine ratepayers,” said Woodcock. “The LePage Administration will work to ensure that this funding is reimbursed to Maine ratepayers as fairly and expeditiously as possible. In the meantime, we will continue to push for a cost-effective solution for the nuclear waste that remains in Wiscasset.”

The damages award covers costs Maine Yankee incurred from 1998–2002. Ongoing litigation regarding costs incurred since 2002 will be addressed by the court in phases. The company expects to litigate with the U.S. Department of Energy every few years until a long-term storage solution for the waste is developed.

In the coming months, Maine Yankee will be submitting a plan to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) outlining their approach for using the money to benefit ratepayers.