WUFT News

Crystal River’s nuclear plant retires, but Progress Energy is not leaving

By on February 5th, 2013

Duke Energy, the largest power company in the U.S., announced Tuesday it will retire the Crystal River Nuclear Plant after a crack in one of the north Tampa buildings was discovered during a refueling process in 2009.

Mike Hughes, a spokesman for Progress and Duke Energy, said the company considered alternatives to retiring the plant, but made the decision to shut it down after reviewing engineering, financial and replacement costs analyses.

“It is in the best interest of our customers and shareholders, as well as the state of Florida, we believe, to make the decision to retire the plant at this time,” Hughes said.

Hughes said the potential for leaks and disasters during a renovation of the plant was not worth the risk.

Despite the recent decision to close the plant, the actual process to clean the plant site and rid it of hazardous material will take 40 to 60 years.

“We will continue to have significant environmental monitoring at the site (and) we’ll have security at the site,” Hughes said.

Mark Johnson, director of Levy County Emergency Management, said, “Our job is to coordinate with the utility [and] the state and federal agencies that regulate it and to protect our residents in the unlikely event of an accident at Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant.”

For now, energy will be provided to customers through other Progress Energy Plants on the Florida system, other utility providers or a combination of the two.

Alternative fuel sources, such as new natural gas power plants, are being considered, including as proposal from 2007 for a new nuclear power plant in Levy County.

No final decision on whether to build the new nuclear plant has been made, but the option is viable for the future, Hughes said.

Mary Olson, the Southeast coordinator for Nuclear Information and Resource Service, said power plants shouldn’t have even been built to begin with.

“Closure of Crystal River illustrates that nuclear is a very bad investment for the customers and the environment,” she said.

Hughes says despite the steady workload ahead of the plant, funding is adequate. According to Huffington Post Green, Progress Energy received $835 million in an insurance settlement that will be refunded to customers who were forced to pay for higher-cost replacement power.

Leila Milgrim wrote this story online. 


This entry was posted in Environment and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Environment

The redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus, killed by a fungus founded by a team of UF researchers in order to stop the spread of laurel wilt, a disease that kills several tree species.

Solution Found For Disease Threatening Avocado Production

UF Researchers and researchers from the Tropical Research and Education Center, USDA and the Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce have found an alternate way to control the spread of Laurel wilt, a disease that threatens Florida’s avocado industry.


This octagon-based receptacle, which looks as if its been opened, sits in front of Dragonfly Sushi in downtown Gainesville. Morgan Kalish, a downtown worker, smokes a cigarette as he walks by it on Monday morning.

Cigarette Receptacles Making Impact Downtown

The local Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is seeing success after the installation of more than two dozen cigarette receptacles in the downtown area. The program hopes to expand into midtown, despite vandalization by the homeless.


Skeletonization of a Gainesville air potato leaf shows why the air potato beetle is considered one of the most successful biocontrol approaches in recent decades compared to other projects — current or past.

Plant-Eating Beetle: Cheapest Way To Kill Weeds

The FWC has seen recent success in controlling invasive plants that overrun Florida with the use of air potato beetles, and other beetle species.


Cedar Key School’s Future Farmers Of America Chapter Fights Local Hunger

Students from Cedar Key School, a public K-12 school, vow to fight hunger in Levy County by cultivating land at the school to provide fresh, healthy food. The school donated 7,000 pounds of fresh food to the Cedar Key United Methodist Church Food Pantry.


The town’s water tank lies behind a barbed chain link fence in the forest, across from Otter Creek Baptist Church. When the water is stored, the contaminants accumulate because it sits in the pipes and doesn’t circulate.

Water Contamination Problems Persist In Otter Creek

Otter Creek’s search to buy land acquisition with a source of clean water may lead to an end to the town’s ongoing water-contamination issues.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments