judges rules for VAT in nuclear sale, utility must reimburse | Alabama News


MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) – A judge has ruled in favor of the Tennessee Valley Authority in the legal dispute over the sale of a nuclear power plant in Alabama, but said the utility must repay millions of dollars for the deal aborted.

The ruling on Thursday is a victory for the public service and could end the winding saga of the sale of the Bellefonte nuclear power plant near Scottsboro. U.S. District Judge Liles Burke ruled that TVA had not violated its sales contract and had no obligation to extend the closing time for a company called Nuclear Development to purchase the facility.

Nuclear Development LLC in 2016 agreed to buy the site for $ 111 million. However, in 2018 the company filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the Tennessee Valley Authority of illegally withdrawing from the sale a day before the close.

The utility argued that Nuclear Development failed to secure approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the transfer of building permits in time for the closing deadline. The company had argued that TVA withdrew from the sale over fears of losing customers to Nuclear Development.

Burke wrote that the motivations of VAT officials ultimately didn’t matter because the company had failed to meet the requirements of the deal. The utility had no obligation to extend the deadline.

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Burke has ruled that TVA must repay the $ 22 million down payment for the property, plus interest.

“We are extremely satisfied with this result. The court clearly validated our long-standing position that TVA has not breached its contractual obligation to cooperate and do its best to complete the sale of Bellefonte to Nuclear Development, ”the company said in a statement.

“TVA retains full possession and control of the Bellefonte site. We continue to assess the court order and look forward to moving forward towards returning the Bellefonte property to productive use.

TVA began work on the Bellefonte site in the mid-1970s, but never completed the two-reactor plant as the growth in demand for electricity declined.

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