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Seems reasonable. No sense wasting more money on a project with no future. Look closer, though, and itbecomes clear that closing Yucca Mountain is the real waste. The real story here is about government ineptitude, not wasteful spending. The 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act, as amended, established a system, however flawed, for utilities to pay the federal government to collect and dispose of America's commercial nuclear waste. The act set upa fee that electricity users would pay utilities to fund disposal activities. Jan. 31, 1998, was set as the legal deadline to start waste collection. Since the program's inception, $30 billion, including interest, has been paid to the federal government to fund it. The problem? Not a single atom of nuclear waste has ever been collected. In other words, users of nuclear electricity have been paying for waste disposal while Washington has been pocketing the money. It is no different from paying for your trash to be collected. But in the instanceof nuclear utilities, the trash man never came. So now all that used nuclear fuel has to be stored on site. That wasn't part of the original bargain. Still, all that on-site storage has to be paid for. So not only do electricity ratepayers have to pay the federal government to dispose of the waste, the utilities also have to pay to store it. So that's twice. That's not all.
Nuclear companies have begun suing the federal government for breach of contract for not collecting thewaste. And when the government loses a lawsuit, it's the taxpayers who foot the bill. And they are losing. According to the Justice Department, out of the 72 cases filed against the government, 26 have