A nuclear power plant in Crystal River, Florida, will be shut down. Tampa Bay Online reported Duke Energy, the owner of Progress Energy that operated the facility, said February 4 it would retire the plant instead of spending billions to repair it.
The plant's reactor has been offline since late 2009 after a concrete containment building cracked during a maintenance and upgrade project, the article stated. The plant's closure will affect about 600 employees, but Duke Energy said it would try to transition as many as possible to new jobs within the company.
Duke Energy also said it is examining potential sites for future growth within Citrus County, Florida, where the plant is located. Among its projects under consideration is a natural-gas fueled plant that could begin operating by 2018, TBO reported.
"We believe the decision to retire the nuclear plant is in the best overall interests of our customers, investors, the state of Florida and our company," said Jim Rogers, chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "This has been an arduous process of modeling, engineering, analysis and evaluation over many months. The decision was very difficult, but it is the right choice."
The Tampa Bay Times also reported Duke has four coal-fired plants in Citrus County that will remain in service.