Duke Energy won't build nuclear plant

Last Updated: Thursday, August 01, 2013, 5:18 PM EDT

Duke Energy is scuttling plans for a nuclear power facility in the state.

Duke Energy has been charging nuclear cost recovery fees for the planned $24.7 billion plant in Levy County. Through these fees, Duke customers have paid $1.5 billion for the Levy County plant so far.

Rep. Mike Fasano, a Republican from Pasco County, was critical of the state legislature and the Public Service Commission for not challenging the Duke nuclear power plan.

The company hasn't said anything about whether the money will ever be returned.

Early this year, Duke Energy closed the nuclear plant in Citrus County, which caused a lot of fallout for people in Crystal River and the county.

Leaders are dealing with tax revenue losses and are still in a legal battle with duke over the tax bill. Hundreds of people lost their jobs when the Citrus nuclear plant closed.

Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, issued this statement about the decision to cancel the proposed Levy County nuclear reactor project:

“We welcome Duke Energy’s announcement today that they are seeking approval to cancel the controversial Levy County nuclear reactor project.  Since the merger, Duke’s leadership has taken a fresh look at these unnecessary nuclear projects and has absolutely made the right decision for Florida consumers.

While important details are still being resolved, Florida consumers should rejoice in knowing that the fleecing associated with this nuclear project will end. The time has come to stop throwing good money after bad.

SACE has long opposed this project and the nuclear tax recovery mechanisms that have been associated with it. SACE supports the need for Duke and FPL to have exit plans for these unnecessary reactors, however, we must stay vigilant in protecting consumers as the projects wind down.

The FL PSC has been negligent in its protection of Florida ratepayers and as these projects are cancelled, the Commission must stand strong in defense of consumers. But we also must ensure that the utilities do not continue to pursue high-risk, unnecessary projects as if there were no viable exit strategy.”