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Duke Energy closing damaged nuclear plant in Florida

Posted February 5, 2013

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— Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, announced Tuesday that it will retire the Crystal River Nuclear Plant, a facility that has been shut down since late 2009.

The plant was closed in the fall of 2009 after a crack was found in the outer layer of the containment building's concrete wall. 

While trying to repair the problem in 2011, crews cracked other portions of the wall. In its release Tuesday, Progress Energy said the nature and scope of repairs needed at the plant could raise costs dramatically.

"We believe the decision to retire the nuclear plant is in the best overall interests of our customers, investors, the state of Florida and our company," Jim Rogers, chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy, said in a statement.

"This has been an arduous process of modeling, engineering, analysis and evaluation over many months. The decision was very difficult, but it is the right choice."

About 600 full-time employees work at the Crystal River plant, and many will remain onsite to work through the closing and decommissioning of the unit, Duke Energy said.

Progress Energy Florida provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million people in the central part of the state.


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  • dmarion2 Feb 6, 2013

    Just what exactly do you do with a closed nuclear power plant? Surely, they can't sell it or redevelop the proprty in any way. If they give up the effort to repair it, doesn't Duke Energy still have to sit on it and maintain it to a certain degree to prevent it from becoming a further contamination nightmare?

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Feb 5, 2013

    I hear a lot of people crying over the rate increases. If you voted for Obama, stuff it! Think about rate increase when they are closing down coal plants as fast as they can. If they don't replace them with gas burning plants, expect the rates to multiply!

    All the power company's were asked to do was put scrubgers on their coal fired. And all that does is cut into profit. Rate hikes will be minimal. And what would you rather do, breath clean air or pay lower rates? Sometimes, you get what you pay forha

  • rmsmith Feb 5, 2013

    Wy can't they seal the containment building in 10 feet of concrete and simply build a new adjacenet containment building ?

  • SomeRandomGuy Feb 5, 2013

    How do 600 people work in an essentially closed facility??

  • tran Feb 5, 2013

    A design flaw made it impossible to maneuver the replacement steam generator though the equipment hatch in the containment dome. They tried to cut a hole in the containment dome so they could replace the steam generator. But this damaged the concrete and it's not feasible to fix it. So the plant can't operate. It's an expensive, radioactive brick.

  • hollylama Feb 5, 2013

    Someone should do an investigation into how much money was spent trying to fix the reactor (millions) and whether they knew before trying to fix it whether it was even worth the effort. I wonder how many customers' rates went up to fix that defunct machine?

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 5, 2013

    What are they going to do with the 1000 year highly-radioactive material that is (was?) there? Bury it in a park in your neighborhood? Make it someone else's problem in another state/country?

    I love the theory that Nuclear is clean, but there's just this little problem of a millennia of radioactivity...

  • elcid liked Ike Feb 5, 2013

    Trainer - the facility was built by Florida Power, true, but it was destroyed by Progress's inept attempts to renovate it.

  • computer trainer Feb 5, 2013

    How long will it take to close this plant?

    ALso, this plant was built by Florida Power, not by PE, or Dukie.

  • chrisnrali Feb 5, 2013

    Well building that was money well spent. NOT.