$4 Billion pissed away by law suits against the Government for failing to provide a nuclear waste storage site.
This is enough money to eliminate 2 nuclear plants and replace them with solar.
In 2015, the Department of Energy paid about $650 million in taxpayer funds to energy companies for such suits, according to an analysis by The Litigation Daily of records in the Treasury Department's Judgment Fund database.
The worst part is, the companies deserve every penny. The payments — totaling about $4 billion in the past five years, The Lit Daily found — represent a disgraceful failure of public policy. The suits stem from a deal struck by the feds and power plant owners under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. Starting in 1983, the plant owners paid the Department of Energy an annual fee, and in return, the government promised to build a secure facility to permanently store their nuclear waste starting Jan. 31, 1998.
The power plant owners dutifully paid their fees. But the government, mired down by not-in-my-backyard politics, isn't remotely close to building any facility.
Future prospects look bleak — the Obama administration in 2010 pulled the plug on a depository in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and no alternative site has been proposed.
The closest the Energy Department has come is detailed in a blog post in December by Franklin Orr, the undersecretary for science and energy, who said the feds are now moving forward with a "consent-based siting process." That means that "communities, tribes and states, as partners, are comfortable with the location of future storage and disposal facilities before they are constructed."
Good luck with that.