Duke Energy has decided to permanently shut down their Crystal River unit 3 reactor in Florida. This came after a years long problem of what to do after a botched DIY repair job. When Progress Energy owned the plant they decided to save a few dollars by cutting a hole in the containment structure themselves. This cracked the containment structure in multiple places leading to an estimated repair cost that could reach $3.4 billion dollars.
Customers will be out about $2 billion dollars when all is done, Duke will pocket about $100 million between consumer payments and insurance claims. Duke plans to put the unit in SAFESTOR where it will remain in a permanent shut down mode for 60 years. This is being done for cost savings, it is cheaper to put in SAFESTOR yet the reactor will still eventually need the costly decommissioning.
Duke may try to use this shutdown as a reason to attempt to build the new Levy County nuclear reactor. The current estimated cost is $17 to $22 billion. There is also some possibility the state will change the current law that forces customers to prepay for a nuclear construction project without a possible refund even if the project is never actually built.
Currently gas and nuclear are the major power sources in sunny Florida, if only they had another power source to use…
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