The Dept. of Energy on Jan. 2 asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review a November ruling by that court's three-judge panel that the fee utilities pay to fund long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel must be zeroed out.

DOE also has sent Congress a proposal that would make nuclear-waste fees comply with the court's mandate, says spokesman Bill Gibbons. He says DOE will work with Congress, local and tribal officials, and the nuclear industry to "develop a consent-based solution" for long-term management of nuclear waste. The Nuclear Energy Institute says it opposes paying the fee until a long-term solution is identified.