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Orlando City Council dumping their investment in Duke nuclear power plant

scrutiny-on-costsOrlando moves to dump stake in Duke’s nuke plant  By Kevin Spear Orlando Sentinel, September 14, 2014 The Orlando City Council is expected to approve a plan Monday to dump city ownership in Duke Energy’s crippled nuclear generator for an amount far less than the original purchase value.

Duke’s nuke plant near Crystal River was bedeviled with concrete failures even before it started up in 1977, two years after Orlando’s electric utility bought a small share of the reactor. Disabled by epic calamity that began five years ago, the unit was supposed to run until at least 2036 and, depending on overhauls, possibly many years beyond then……….

the Florida Municipal Power Agency, which provides wholesale electricity to 30 cities, suggested the Duke plant could turn into a liability quagmire.

“There is much uncertainty and risk involved in decommissioning a nuclear power plant,” the agency stated in a memo to its directors.

“The project is planned to take up to 60 years to complete, and involves complex dismantling and transportation of contaminated material.”…….

Company officials determined that further repairs would cost $1.5 billion to $3.4 billion and take as many as eight years.

After much suspense, Duke Energy finally announced last year that the nuke was beyond saving and would be “placed in a safe, stable condition for 60 years until decommissioning work is completed in 2074.”

During a tour of the nuclear generator in 2011, plant operators said that more than 1,300 bundles of used uranium fuel were stored in a pool 30 feet deep.

That fuel pool, cooled to 101 degrees and blended with boron to stop the splitting of atoms, will remain a long-term maintenance and security concern for Duke Energy.

Asked Friday about the status for that highly radioactive fuel, Duke spokeswoman Heather Danenhower declined to provide further information.

“For security reasons, we do not disclose the number of nuclear fuel assemblies in our spent fuel pool,” Danenhower said.

September 15, 2014 - Posted by | business and costs, USA

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