LOS ANGELES -- Investors in defaulted Washington Public Power Supply System bonds finally appear close to receiving a partial payment on their losses after almost a decade of waiting.

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday declined to hear a final challenge to settlements in the WPPSS federal bond fraud case, and partial payments to bondholders may be ready "within a week or 10 days," said Melvyn Weiss, who represents class action purchasers of WPPSS nuclear power units 4 and 5 bonds. Their lawsuit stemmed from the supply system's $2.25 billion default in 1983.

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