Duke Energy to decommission US nuclear plant nearly 50 years early

The company plans to dismantle the Crystal River Nuclear Plant by 2027, rather than the original deadline of 2074

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Duke Energy is to decommission a nuclear power plant in Florida nearly 50 years sooner than originally planned.

The company has announced it will shut down the Crystal River Nuclear Plant, which is already retired, by 2027 – it says the plan will have no impact on customer bills.

The proposed decommissioning is still subject to approval by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Florida Public Service Commission but if approved, will begin in 2020 and end in 2027.

Duke Energy retired the plant in 2013 and originally planned to decommission it by 2074.

The firm says accelerating its dismantlement offers more financial protection for customers and allows for faster restoration and redevelopment of the property and notes it currently has enough money to accelerate the plant’s decommissioning without incurring further costs.

It adds it will be able to return most of the unused money in its decommissioning fund to customers earlier than expected and suggests as the initial phase of decommissioning is already complete, the plant is in an ideal condition to attract bidders to complete the work.

Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy’s State President for Florida, said: “We remain committed to making smart, forward-thinking and thoughtful business decisions that protect and benefit our customers.

“The fixed-price contract will lock in today’s prices, providing us greater cost certainty.”

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