As of May 16, the Department of Energy (DOE) will no longer collect the one-tenth-of-a-cent fee per kilowatt-hour of power generated by nuclear plants that was set by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982. 

In a letter dated May 12, the DOE notified generators storing spent nuclear fuel that is meant to be disposed of by the government that it will cease collection of the nuclear waste fee that has totaled more than $30 billion since 1983—an estimated $750 million a year—as ordered by the D.C. Circuit last year.

That court’s decision found for states and industry, which legally challenged collection of the fee after the Obama administration terminated the Yucca Mountain permanent waste repository program in 2010. It prohibits collection of the fee until the DOE complies with the Nuclear Waste Policy Act or Congress enacts a used fuel management plan.

In a statement last week, Nuclear Energy Institute President and CEO Marvin Fertel called on Congress and the Obama administration to establish a new organization with the authority and funding to implement an “effective and efficient” nuclear waste management and disposal program.

Sonal Patel, associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)