Exelon Loses Tax Suit Claiming $1.69 Billion in Costs

Exelon Corp. (EXC), the biggest U.S. nuclear operator, can’t use $1.69 billion of claimed liabilities associated with decommissioning three nuclear power plants to generate tax benefits, a federal court ruled.

U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington today barred the power generator from factoring decommissioning costs into the tax basis of plants it bought in 1999 and 2000 because they’re still operating.

All the decommissioning activities cited in Exelon’s complaint are described as occuring when an operator closes a plant, and “it is undisputed that none of the three nuclear power plants at issue in this suit were closed, or were about to be closed in 1999 or 2000,” Judge Lynn Bush said in her ruling.

The case was filed in 2009 by Exelon unit AmerGen Energy Co. LLC, which had acquired the three plants.

The facilities are Three Mile Island Unit 1 Nuclear Generating Station in Middletown, Pennsylvania, Clinton Power Station in Clinton, Illinois, and Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Forked River, New Jersey.

“There is no associated liability or impact to Exelon’s earnings resulting from the federal claims court’s decision,” Paul Elsberg, a spokesman for Chicago-based Exelon, said in a statement. “We will be evaluating the court’s decision to determine whether or not to pursue an appeal.”

The case is Amergen Energy Co. LLC v. U.S., 09-cv-108, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Zajac in Washington at azajac@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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