After the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) questions Duke Energy (Duke) executives on August 13, Commissioner Eduardo E. Balbis, as Prehearing Officer, will review the status of Crystal River Nuclear Unit 3 (CR3), now managed by Duke since its merger with Progress Energy Florida (PEF).
During a maintenance and upgrade project to replace old steam generators in 2009, a crack occurred in the concrete containment building that surrounds CR3’s nuclear reactor. In November 2010, the PSC opened Docket No. 100437 to oversee PEF’s engineering analyses and repair cost estimates and to monitor ongoing discussions with its insurance company, the Nuclear Electric Insurance Ltd. This docket was divided into three phases to fully investigate CR3’s extended outage and its replacement fuel and projected repair costs.
In February, the PSC approved a Settlement Agreement (Agreement) between the Office of Public Counsel (OPC) and other intervenors that resolved Phase 1 issues relating to events leading up to the CR3 incident. As part of the Agreement, PEF removed CR3 from rate base beginning in 2013 while the company continues to evaluate options for the plant. In addition, the company is refunding customers $288 million for replacement power costs associated with CR3’s ongoing outage. Up to an additional $100 million in customer refunds will be required if PEF does not begin CR3 repairs by December 31 with Board and/or senior management approval and a publicly announced repair plan and schedule. Providing rate continuity for PEF’s customers through 2016, the Agreement also provides a process for ongoing consultation with OPC, which represents customers, about the decision to repair or retire CR3.
Information related to Phases 2 and 3, covering the decisions following the event up to decisions to repair or retire the unit, was not fully developed. Parties agreed that evidence should continue being gathered before taking these issues to an evidentiary hearing. Regular status conferences, open to the public, allow the Commission to gather further information on the still unfolding events concerning the decision to repair or retire CR3. Formal PSC hearings on Phases 2 and 3 will be scheduled when sufficient information is obtained.
The CR3 status hearing will occur at the following time and location:
Monday afternoon, August 13, 2012
30 minutes after the conclusion of the Duke/PEF meeting
Betty Easley Conference Center
Joseph P. Cresse Hearing Room (Room 148)
4075 Esplanade Way
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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