Duke: No decision yet on fate of nuclear power unit

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) said Aug. 13 that it has not made a decision whether to retire or repair the 860 MW Unit 3 at the Crystal River nuclear power plant in Florida, according to Bloomberg.

CEO Jim Rogers said in the article that the company is completing engineering studies, determining what it can recover from insurance and whether it can get a license renewal for the plant. Rogers spoke during a briefing to the Florida Public Service Commission to see how the company’s merger with Progress Energy would affect Florida customers.

Progress Energy in 2011 said repairs for the plant could cost as much as $1.3 billion. It has been shut down since 2009 when cracks formed in the containment shield building as workers were creating an opening in it for a steam generator replacement. In 2010, workers discovered a second delamination in another area of the structure as they were in the final stages of returning the unit to service.

The PSC approved a Settlement Agreement in February between the Office of Public Counsel and other interveners that resolved Phase 1 issues related to events leading up to the incident at the plant. Part of the agreement says that if repairs on the plant are not started by Dec. 31, Progress Energy Florida will have to refund customers up to $100 million.

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