A federal plan to ship highly radioactive nuclear fuel rods from Taiwan through the Port of Long Beach--or ports in Oakland or Seattle--has been suspended until a lawsuit in federal court in Washington state is resolved. The U.S. Department of Energy announced its decision in a letter to Gov. George Deukmejian, who last month joined several other local and state officials in opposing the plan. The suit by a Seattle-area environmental group seeks to block the shipments until a thorough environmental study is complete. A hearing is set for April 21 in Tacoma. The Energy Department announced Jan. 17 that it would bring 18 shipments of used fuel rods through Long Beach Harbor beginning in March, but heated protests delayed the shipments.