Three decommissioned nuclear plants in New England have been reimbursed nearly $160 million by the federal government for costs related to spent nuclear fuel that has yet to be removed. Maine Yankee Atomic Power Co., Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Co. and Yankee Atomic Electric Co. in Massachusetts announced the decision on Thursday. The plants say the federal government decided not to appeal a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling upholding claims of $39.7 million to Connecticut Yankee, $81.7 million to Maine Yankee and $38.3 million to Yankee Atomic. The companies say they will file plans with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to establish a process to distribute the money to ratepayers. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Energy Department did not immediately return a call. The issue of disposing of the spent nuclear fuel remains unresolved.