Nuclear Regulatory Commission Issues New License for Levy Nuclear Plant

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By Editors of Power Engineering

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued new operating licenses for a mothballed nuclear plant held by Duke Energy in Levy County, Florida.

However, Duke is unlikely to use the licenses immediately, as the licenses could be used to restart the project years later if the economics of nuclear power once again make sense to Duke, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Progress Energy Florida, which is now Duke Energy Florida, submitted the application for the facility on July 30, 2008.

However, Duke Energy abandoned the facility three years ago, and the plant now faces a 60-year decommissioning process that could cost up to $1.2 billion. The radioactive spent fuel rods will remain on-site in sealed concrete casks until Duke and the federal government decide where to store them in the long-term.

Duke also closed the nearby Crystal River nuclear plant in Citrus County after a failed repair on the reactor vessel was deemed too expensive to fix.

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