March 19, 2014
The Georgia Public Service Commission (Commission) unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Georgia Congressional Delegation to act immediately to accept the Department of Energy (DOE) recommendation to adjust to zero the current fee charged to Georgia Power Company ratepayers for the Nuclear Waste Fund. Today's (March 19) Commission action follows the November 19, 2013 U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. decision that mandated the Secretary of Energy to submit a proposal to Congress to adjust the current Nuclear Waste Fund fee to zero until such time as either the DOE resumes work toward the Yucca Mounty project or until Congress provides for an alternative waste management plan.
Commissioner Lauren 'Bubba' McDonald, Jr. made the motion to adopt the resolution. 'Georgia ratepayers have paid over $1 billion, which includes interest, into the Nuclear Waste Fund since 1983, and have nothing to show for it,' McDonald said. 'Once Congress acts this Commission will move to adjust the Fuel Cost Recovery Tariff to reflect the reduction and end the double payments by Georgia ratepayers until the federal government has a plan in place,' McDonald added. McDonald has a vital interest in this issue as he serves on the Nuclear Waste Subcommittee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).
'This is an important issue for all ratepayers across this nation,' said Commissioner Stan Wise, who seconded the motion to adopt the resolution. 'Our national organization, NARUC, has taken an active role in this issue and in fact filed supporting briefs in the D.C. Court decision.' Commissioner Wise is a past president of NARUC.
'I hope that other public utility commissions from around the country will follow the lead of the Georgia PSC and ask Congress to do the same,' said Commissioner Tim Echols. 'The backlog for waste removal is causing any possible nuclear renaissance to sputter,' Echols added.
The resolution states the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 required the DOE to enter into contracts to dispose of spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear plants in return for payment of fees by the generators or owners of the fuel. It further states that DOE has failed to meet the mandate of law to begin accepting nuclear waste by 1998 and that currently Georgia Power customers pay about $0.17 per month as part of the company's Fuel Cost Recovery Tariff.
The text of the resolution can be found at http://www.psc.state.ga.us/newsinfo/NewsReleases.aspx.
In other action, the Commission approved a joint settlement in Docket Number 37024 between the Commission Pipeline Safety Staff and the Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGLC) to settle allegations of violations of the Georgia Utility Facilities Protection Act. The Commission approved a motion by Commissioner McDonald that AGLC contribute $25,000 to the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs for its Georgia Pipeline Emergency Responders Initiative at the Georgia Fire Academy in Forsyth, Georgia. The Association will use the funds to offer six Pipeline Emergency courses at the Academy. According to the Association, 82 students from 40 agencies have attended this training.
The Georgia Public Service Commission is a constitutional agency that exercises its authority and influence to ensure that consumers receive safe, reliable, and reasonably priced telecommunications, electric and natural gas services from financially viable and technically competent companies. Additional information can be found on the Commission web site, www.psc.state.ga.us.
For more information :
Georgia Public Service Commission
244 Washington St SW
United States, 30334-9007
Contact person: Bill Edge, Public Information Officer
Georgia Public Service Commission