by Will Wade, Bloomberg
The Maine Yankee nuclear power plant hasn’t produced a single watt of energy in more than two decades, but it cost U.S. taxpayers about $35 million this year.
Almost 40 years after Congress decided the U.S., and not private companies, would be responsible for storing radioactive waste, the cost of that effort has grown to $7.5 billion, and it’s about to get even pricier.
With no place of its own to keep the waste, the government now says it expects to pay $35.5 billion to private companies as more and more nuclear plants close down, unable to compete with cheaper natural gas and renewables. Storing spent fuel at an operating plant with staff and technology on hand can cost $300,000 a year. The price tag for a closed facility: More than $8 million, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.