Costs to repair the Crystal River nuclear power plant (CR3) in Florida could reach $3.43 billion in a "worst-case scenario," according to Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) and Zapata Inc., which conducted an independent review of the plant.
The Zapata report estimated the repair cost at approximately $1.49 billion. Duke subsidiary Progress Energy's prior assessment indicated expected repair cost of $900 million to $1.3 billion, with the costs trending up. A worst-case scenario found that the cost could be $3.43 billion with a 96-month schedule, if additional damage would occur in the dome and in the lower elevations.
Duke Energy commissioned the review in March to further analyze the potential scope, risks, costs and schedule of the prospective repair of the plant. The CR3 plant has been shut down since a crack was found in the containment building during a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage in September 2009.
“We will proceed with a repair option only if there is a high degree of confidence that the repair can be successfully completed and licensed within the final estimated costs and schedule, and is in the best interests of our customers, joint owners and investors,” said Alex Glenn, incoming president of Progress Energy Florida.
According to a statement from Glenn, the review from Zapata found that the current repair plan appears to be technically feasible, but significant risks and technical issues still need to be resolved, including the ultimate scope of any repair work.
“We have not made a final decision on whether to repair or retire CR3,” said Glenn. “The decision and schedule will be driven by the final analysis, not vice-versa."
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