Progress Energy announced Monday that it is unsure when Crystal River Unit 3 will be back online as it continues to study the cause of separating concrete within a wall at the plant.The Florida reactor was first taken offline in 2009 for refueling and a steam generator replacement. To accomplish the later, crews made a hole in a concrete outer wall at the plant. They subsequently noticed delamination of the concrete caused by loosening cables within the wall. Engineers have tried to fix the gap in the wall and retension about 200 cables, but work was stopped again when more delamination was discovered last month.According to a Progress release, the company is conducting an engineering analysis of the problem. Engineers will review the company’s options once that review is complete, but the release said Progress has reported to state and federal regulators that it can not estimate when the unit will be back online.“We are doing a careful and systematic review of the new delamination and the options to return the plant to service. In the meantime, nuclear safety remains our top priority. The plant remains shut down and in a safe condition. We will continue to provide energy from other company and purchased resources to meet our customers’ needs for reliable electricity,” Vincent Dolan, CEO of Progress Energy Florida, said in a release.At the end of last year, the company had spent $150 million on the repair, $64 million of which was covered by an insurance policy issued by Nuclear Electrical Insurance Limited. The utility also incurred $290 million in replacement power costs, according to the release, of which $117 was covered by the insurance policy.
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