To Fix It Or Retire It: That’s The Question About The Crystal River Nuclear Plant

Oct 30, 2012

If it’s going to get back up and running the Crystal River nuclear power plants needs repairs, but it’s looking like customers could be on the hook for a big chunk of the multi-billion dollar cost. During an update on their decision about whether they’ll make the repairs Progress Energy Florida Officials told Public Service Commissioner, Eduardo Balbis, they’re not sure how much of the cost their insurance company will cover and how much could be passed on to customers.  Jon Moyle with the Florida Industrial Power Users group said that’s an important number to know before the company decides to rebuild. And he said his group is concerned about how much time it’s taking to get that answer.

The plant has been down since 2009 when a concrete containment wall surrounding the reactor cracked during a maintenance and upgrade project. Now officials are considering whether to keep trying to fix it, or retire the plant. Commissioner Balbis said under a settlement agreement the utility entered into, the utility is expected to make a decision soon.

“You indicated the decision making process being in likely December or as late as summer 2013 and obviously the settlement agreement has a deadline of December 31st of this year when construction repair activities must commence,” Balbis said.

If the utility doesn’t make a decision and move forward on construction by the December deadline it faces penalties—like a review of the prudence of the repair by parties of the agreement and even refunding some money to customers.

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