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WASHINGTON- For the second time in less than two weeks, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has awarded damages- this time nearly $43 million- to a nuclear power plant because of the federal government’s failure to perform a contract to pick up spent nuclear fuel. The court awarded $42.7 million to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for the partial breach of contract by the Department of Energy. The utility had sought $92.1 million for damages related to two of its nuclear power plants – the Humboldt Bay Power Plant Unit 3 and the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. v. U.S., No. 04-74C. The court earlier had awarded $142.8 million to the owners of three New England nuclear power plants for the contract breach and costs incurred in storing the spent fuel on site- the first significant damages award in the long-running litigation. Jerry Stouck of Washington, D.C.’s Greenberg Traurig, counsel to PG&E called the decision “initially a little disappointing.” Stouck also represented the three New England utilities.

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