Ratepayers of utilities with nuclear plants should no longer have to pay into a fund to build and maintain a national high-level nuclear waste repository, state regulators said Aug. 22 in a filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners--joined by nine utilities outside California--contend that because a final nuclear waste burial site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has been a non-starter, consumers should not have to continue paying into a fund for the non-existent site. Over the years, in separate filings, California investor-owned utilities and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (owner of the decommissioned Rancho Seco nuclear plant) have made similar legal pleadings. The Department of Defense quit paying into the fund this year and is expected to do the same in 2012, according to NARUC general counsel Brad Ramsay. \u201cJeeze, isn\u2019t that wrong that one of us has to pay and the other one doesn\u2019t?\u201d said Ramsay. The petition claims \u201cnothing prevents\u201d the Department of Energy from proposing to \u201cCongress that the fee be suspended in light of the current status of the waste disposal program.\u201d To date, the DOE cites $15.4 billion has been spent on developing the permanent high-level radioactive waste facility at Yucca Mountain. The government\u2019s collected $31 billion from nuclear utility ratepayers for the facility. Of that, California ratepayer\u2019s contributed $873 million, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. In total, with interest, the fund is said to stand at $38.5 billion. Yucca Mountain\u2019s radioactive storage site was discontinued by the Department of Energy in 2010.