Florida legislative leaders soften stance on nuclear advance fee law via Tampa Bay Times

State legislative leaders continue to soften Tallahassee’s once-rock-solid support for a law that allows utilities to charge customers in advance for new nuclear projects.

This week, House Speaker Will Weatherford told reporters that the law did not produce the kinds of results in boosting nuclear power that lawmakers anticipated when they passed the measure in 2006.

Known as the Nuclear Cost Recovery Clause, the law gives utilities such as Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light incentives to hasten construction of nuclear plants and increase power at existing ones.

In South Florida, FPL touts the law as helping to add 500 megawatts of power — the equivalent of a small reactor — to its Turkey Point power station for about $3 billion.

Duke, on the other hand, remains saddled with almost $2 billion in expenses related to an upgrade project at the Crystal River plant in Citrus County and the preliminary planning and development of the proposed Levy County nuclear plant.

The $24 billion Levy County project has cost customers $1.5 billion so far, while improvements at the crippled Crystal River nuclear plant have cost $457 million. Neither project is expected to produce any electricity for years, if ever.

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