Nuclear Economics Expert Comments On Closure Of Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant By Duke Energy

 Nuclear Economics Expert Comments On Closure Of Crystal River Nuclear Power
                             Plant By Duke Energy

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2013

Implications for Levy County Reactor Project Discussed

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Mark Cooper -- a leading
U.S. expert on nuclear reactor financing who has testified at several Florida
PSC hearings since 2009 – is available this afternoon to comment on the
announcement by Duke Energy of plans to close their Crystal River nuclear
reactor. He issued the following statement today:

"The closure of the Crystal River plant should come as no surprise. The
company's own report evaluating its ability to successfully repair damage to
the reactor's concrete containment building concluded the risks associated
with making necessary repairs could result in dramatic cost increases and
extend the amount of time it would take for repairs to be completed.

However, still on the table is Duke Energy's plan for construction of the
proposed Levy Country nuclear plant. Even with the closure of Crystal River,
there are several key reasons why it still does not make sense to construct
this new reactor.

1)Cost – If it doesn't make financial or economic sense to spend $1.3
billion to $3 billion to fix the Crystal River plant, then why would it make
sense to spend $24 billion to build Levy?

2)Timing - It would take at least 10 years to build the Levy reactor. This
would not go towards helping the situation today. The utilities have already
figured out how to make up for the lost power from Crystal River, both by
purchasing power from the wholesale market initially when Crystal River went
down and then by increasing production at existing natural gas facilities.
There is not an emergency need for additional power due to these steps and
should not be as long as natural gas is plentiful and inexpensive by
comparison.

3)Alternatives - In today's reality, Florida would not build the Levy
reactor anyway. Natural gas is cheap. By the utility's own assessment
released last year, building the Levy reactor is more expensive than using
natural gas in seven out of eight scenarios they considered where there is no
carbon tax. Today, there is none and President Obama has stated he does not
intend to enact one. The current climate policy also reduces the need for
electricity, which also makes nuclear reactors less economic."

Mark Cooper is the senior fellow for economic analysis at the Institute for
Energy and the Environment of the Vermont Law School. He is the author of
"Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Economics" (2012) and "Policy Challenges of
Nuclear Reactor Construction, Cost Escalation and Crowding Out Alternatives"
(2009).

SOURCE Mark Cooper, senior research fellow for economic analysis, Vermont Law
School, South Royalton, VT

Contact: Ailis Aaron Wolf, +1-703-276-3265, aawolf@hastingsgroup.com
 
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