Move underscores impracticability of new reactor construction
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced yesterday the termination of the Combined Licenses (COL) of the proposed Duke Energy Florida (DEF) Levy nuclear reactors. The Levy project, which consisted of two Toshiba-Westinghouse AP1000 reactors, was plagued by schedule delays and skyrocketing costs before being cancelled by DEF in 2013. Yet there were significant costs borne by customers in subsequent years.
The 2017 rate case settlement agreement between DEF and other parties, including Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, approved by the Florida Public Service Commission, effectively ended any possibility that reactors would ever be built at the Levy site. Given the 2017 bankruptcy of Westinghouse, due to the massive financial losses caused by the AP1000 projects in Georgia, which has doubled in cost to nearly $28 billion, and South Carolina, which has since been cancelled, any likelihood of the Levy project reemerging was squelched. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, DEF filed a letter with the NRC on January 25, 2018 requesting that the Levy COL be terminated. The NRC granted that request yesterday.
“Southern Alliance for Clean Energy applauds Duke Energy Florida for formally terminating the licenses for the Levy site,” said Sara Barczak, Regional Advocacy Director with Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “This move marks the continued meltdown of the nuclear construction industry after the Westinghouse bankruptcy and the abandonment of the V.C. Summer nuclear reactors in South Carolina last year. It’s time for FPL to follow suit and stop wasting customers’ money by officially cancelling the proposed reactors at their Turkey Point plant near Miami.”