Federal court awards damages to utility - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Federal court awards damages to utility

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RICHLAND, Wash. -- Energy Northwest says a Federal judge has awarded them $57 million in damages from the Energy Department, for breach of contract involving the Yucca Mountain Project.

The case was decided almost four years ago, but the amount of damages was just determined. Used nuclear fuel from the Columbia Generating Station in Richland was supposed to be sent to Yucca Mountain starting back in 1998.

Washington state plans to intervene in the federal government's decision to withdraw its license application for a Nevada nuclear waste repository.Columbia Generating Station is the only commercial nuclear plant in the Northwest.

Nevada has long fought the proposed Yucca Mountain repository, and the Obama administration has said it doesn't see a future for it. Energy Northwest says in a statement that if the court order stands, it will offset the cost to build a storage area for the used fuel.