We've been watching the wires pretty closely every since we caught wind of a potential announcement by Duke Energy about the proposed nuclear project in Levy County, Florida. So far, several outlets have incorrectly reported that the project has been permanently shelved.
It's too bad those reporters didn't bother reading the fine print of the Duke Energy press release concerning a wide-ranging settlement with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) that went out about an hour ago (Bold emphasis mine):
In 2008, Duke Energy Florida announced plans to construct two 1,100-megawatt nuclear units in Levy County, Fla.So, what we're looking at is a delay, not a cancellation, and regulatory preparation for a potential new plant will continue. Here's hoping that detail gets back into the coverage this evening.
Duke Energy’s EPC agreement was based on the ability to obtain the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) combined construction and operating license (COL) by Jan. 1, 2014. As a result of delays by the NRC in issuing COLs for new nuclear plants, as well as increased uncertainty in cost recovery caused by recent legislative changes in Florida, Duke Energy will be terminating the EPC agreement for the proposed Levy nuclear project.
Although the proposed Levy nuclear project is no longer an option for meeting energy needs within the originally scheduled timeframe, Duke Energy Florida continues to regard the Levy site as a viable option for future nuclear generation and understands the importance of fuel diversity in creating a sustainable energy future. Because of this, the company will continue to pursue the COL outside of the nuclear cost recovery clause.
“We continue to believe that a balanced energy portfolio, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and state-of-the-art cleaner power plants are critical to securing Florida’s energy future, and nuclear energy should remain an option to meet Florida’s future energy needs,” Glenn said.