Xcel Energy wins lawsuit against government over nuclear storage

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A court has awarded Xcel Energy $116.5
million over the federal government's failure to open the Yucca
Mountain nuclear storage facility on time.
The case involved Xcel Energy's three nuclear power plants in
Northern States Power, a predecessor company to Xcel Energy,
sued the Department of Energy, claiming breach of contract.
In a decision dated last Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Federal
Claims sided with the Minneapolis-based utility.
A Department of Energy spokeswoman declined to comment, saying
the agency is "reviewing the court's decision."
Yucca Mountain was designated in the 1980s as the country's
nuclear waste repository.
Under the law, the Energy Department was required to open the
Nevada site for nuclear waste storage by 1998, but the project has
been bogged down in controversy, and the earliest possible opening
date would be 2017.
State Senator Ellen Anderson said the court's decision won't
make up for the millions of dollars Minnesota ratepayers have
already spent on nuclear waste storage.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)