Skip to main content

Duke Energy COL for Levy County Nuclear Plant Still Alive Outside Cost Recovery

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.

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.
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.

Comments

Brian Paddock said…
The plan to keep the COL application going is obviously a ploy to convince the PUC to let Duke keep the $1.5 Billon it has extracted from customers by pretending it will hold the money until the economics on nuclear power change -- which won't happen as efficiency and renewables get cheaper, better, and begin to fill the available space.
SteveK9 said…
Everything is 'obvious' to a conspiracy theorist.
Anonymous said…
Maybe, but this is not good news. The anti-nuke kooks will have a field day with any kind of cancellation news. And, no, "efficiency" and "renewables" won't cut it. They can't carry the load, never have, never will. Unreliables will be less attractive than nuclear. The only thing that will happen if Levy goes belly up will be burning more natural gas in FL, which means more GHG, more acidification of the oceans, more crap.
Anonymous said…
Statements concerning which generation sources are needed to meet demand have become less compelling lately as demand has essentially stagnated or decreased in many parts of the country due to the poor economic conditions. Simply doing nothing is now a viable alternative until the economy ever starts growing again.

When I used to work at TVA our peak summer demand was 32,000MW, however now it is only 29,000MW due to so many industrial customers shutting down and other factors like energy efficiency. This fact is the direct cause of Wwatts Bar being delayed so signifigantly and Bellefonte being indeffinitely deffered. I would imagine stagnant power demand more than anything else is what is killing the "nuclear renaissance". The record low interest rates these days as a result of Quantetative Easing actually makes the financial aspects of a large capital project like nuclear much more appealing. Also, the poor job market favors large capital projects since companies have a much stronger bargaining position with the local unions when it comes to wages these days and construction worker wages are the majority of the cost of a new nuclear plant.
Anonymous said…
The key statement is "outside of cost recovery."

Do you really think that Duke shareholders are going to press forward with COL if they have to shoulder the expenses and can't charge ratepayers for the work?

I know you are suppose to support the industry but to claim that Duke is going to move forward outside of cost recovery undermines NEI's credibility.

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…