Energy Northwest wins nearly $49M judgment

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- A federal court has awarded the operator of the Northwest's only commercial nuclear power plant nearly $49 million in damages from the U.S. Energy Department.

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims already had determined that the agency was in breach of contract with Energy Northwest for failing to begin accepting spent fuel from its nuclear plant.

The fuel has long been intended to be permanently stored in a nuclear waste repository, but a repository for that waste has not yet been built.

The court already had awarded nearly $59 million in damages, but the Energy Department appealed. An appeals court then ruled that the agency was not liable for $6 million in interest. Energy Northwest also declined to pursue repayment for some plant modifications.

The ruling came down July 8.