Duke Energy announced Tuesday that it will close Progress Energys idled Crystal River nuclear reactor in Florida.
The company is reviewing alternatives to replace the power produced by the plant, including possibly constructing a natural gas-fueled plant to meet the needs of its Florida customers. Duke is evaluating several potential sites for the project.
The Crystal River plant has been shut down since 2009 after a botched component-replacement project cracked concrete in its reactor containment structure. Duke had been mulling over whether to repair the plant, at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion to $3.4 billion, or retire it.
We believe this decision to retire the nuclear plant is in the best overall interests of our customers, investors, the state of Florida and our company, Duke CEO Jim Rogers said in a statement. This has been an arduous process of modeling, engineering, analysis and evaluation over many months. The decision was very difficult, but the right choice.
Duke also announced Tuesday that it has reached a solution with the insurer, Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited, known as NEIL, about claims to be paid as a result of the damages that occurred at Crystal River. Under the terms of a mediators proposal, NEIL will pay $530 million in addition to the $305 million it has already paid. Duke said the $835 million payout is the largest in NEILs history.