Fla. Regulators Approve Rate Increase for Incomplete Levy, Crystal River Nuclear Projects

On Monday, Florida's Public Service Commission put a price on power customers' share of two unsuccessful nuclear projects by Progress Energy Florida.

Duke Energy, which acquired the company, on Thursday announced it would abandon plans to build new reactors at a proposed plant in Levy County. That move followed a decision earlier this year to decommission the Crystal River 3 reactor rather than fix containment building concrete delamination stemming from a steam generator replacement in 2009. In a release, the PSC said it approved nuclear cost recovery amounting to $2.17 for Crystal River and $3.45 for Levy on a 1,000 kilowatt bill starting in 2014. It also deferred a decision on Duke's 2013 Nuclear Cost Recovery Clause proceeding after the utility filed a revised settlement agreement resolving issues related to both projects. The commission will consider that settlement and future cost recovery in the fall.

The Miami Herald noted that the newly approved recovery costs amount to an increase of 89 cents per month for 1,000 kilowatts, totaling $108 million per year until 2017. It pegged the combined costs for the projects at $3.2 billion. In the case of the unbuilt Levy plant, the cost recovery will likely provide ammunition to nuclear power critics opposed to state laws that allow utilities to invest in nuclear plants by raising money from consumers before they are completed. Florida enacted such a law in 2006 but made it much more restrictive this year.

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  • I have no words for this. I would not mind paying for something at all were I to "get" what I'm paying for, especially in the case of the new Levy plants but to pay for something we'll never see is patently wrong.