As a result of the federal government\u2019s failure to accept nuclear waste from power plants, utilities in 2012 prevailed in litigation under which the government is paying for their extra incurred costs in holding the waste on site at their plants. Under a settlement, Congress is appropriating taxpayer dollars to a fund from which utilities can make claims. So far, the fund has paid out $2 billion in claims, according to Marvin Fertel, Nuclear Energy Institute president. Fertel notes that the Blue Ribbon Commission on America\u2019s Nuclear Future estimates that unless the federal government begins accepting waste the taxpayer funded payouts will mount to $20.8 billion by 2020. After that they will be $500 million a year. Meanwhile, the federal government continues to take from electricity ratepayers in the 40 some states served by nuclear power more than $750 million to fund development of a permanent waste repository. So far, according to Fertel, $35 billion has been collected from ratepayers since 1982 when the Nuclear Waste Policy Act was enacted. Yet, the government has failed to build any facility for permanently storing the waste so it remains on-site in temporary storage at the nation\u2019s power reactors.