Duke Energy to close troubled Fla. nuclear plant

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Associated Press

Posted on February 5, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 5 at 11:01 AM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The largest U.S. electricity company is permanently closing a Florida nuclear power plant after botched repairs and refunding consumers $835 million from an insurance settlement.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy said Tuesday it will close its Crystal River Nuclear Plant north of Tampa, starting a process that may take 60 years before the site is decontaminated and dismantled.

The nuclear plant operated by its Progress Energy Florida subsidiary has been shut down since 2009, when its concrete containment building cracked during a maintenance and upgrade project. Estimates put repair costs at between $1 billion and $3.4 billion.

Florida utilities regulators will decide when customers see refunds to compensate for higher bills Progress Energy passed along because it had to replace electricity not produced by the nuclear plant with higher-priced power.

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