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Florida Power & Light nuclear plans contested by regulators and community and business groups

State regulators grapple with Florida Power & Light nuclear plans Orlando Weekly  By Jim Saunders, News Service of Florida on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 With Florida Power & Light saying it expects to “pause” the project, state regulators next month will wade into a dispute about how to handle the utility’s long-discussed plans to add two nuclear reactors in Miami-Dade County.

The dispute, detailed in documents filed last week at the Florida Public Service Commission, pits FPL against consumer representatives, the city of Miami and business and environmental groups.

At least in part, it involves an FPL strategy to continue pursuing a crucial license for the reactors and then pausing for what could be years before making decisions about whether to move forward with the project. The utility is asking the Public Service Commission to allow it to recoup costs from customers in the future for the licensing and other expenses.

But opponents of the request argue FPL has not submitted a needed study that would show whether the nuclear project is feasible. They say the utility should not be given approval to continue adding millions of dollars in costs and billing customers later……..

opponents question whether FPL will ever build the reactors and say customers should not face the prospect of added costs.

“FPL’ s position begs a basic policy question: If FPL cannot produce a feasibility analysis showing that pursuing the reactors makes economic sense for customers, why would the (Public Service) Commission saddle customers with more risk and costs?” said a document filed last week by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, one of the opposition groups.

The issue is rooted in a 2006 state law that was designed to encourage the development of nuclear power in Florida. That controversial law allowed utilities to incrementally collect money from customers for costly nuclear projects, rather than recouping project costs after reactors start operating……..
“FPL has not satisfied, and almost certainly cannot satisfy, the statutory requirement that it prove that it has committed sufficient resources to enable its Turkey Point project to be completed, and that its alleged intent to do so is realistic or practical,” the Florida Retail Federation said in a filing last week. “FPL has not filed a realistic feasibility study for its project for more than two years, and in those intervening years, significant developments have occurred that cast serious doubt on the viability value of pursuing the COL for (the Turkey Point reactors).”

July 28, 2017 - Posted by | politics, USA

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