Duke Energy buys back Crystal River stake

16 September 2014

Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) has reached agreement to sell back its stake in the shut down Crystal River 3 nuclear power plant in Florida to Duke Energy, OUC spokesman Tim Trudell said today.

The power unit is the third built as part of the Crystal River Energy Complex which contains a single pressurized water reactor, while sharing the site with four fossil fuel units.

The 860 MWe reactor was taken offline in September 2009 for a 20% uprate, but this was never completed after complications concerning the reactor building containment. The plant was declared permanently shut down in February 2013 and is now destined only for decommissioning.

OUC is a municipal utility owned by the citizens of Orlando which has held a 1.6% stake in Crystal River 3 since it was commissioned in 1976. OUC spokesman Tim Trudell told World Nuclear News that the city council signed yesterday to sell this stake to Duke Energy for $12.6 million in a deal that also release OUC of any decommissioning obligations.

"Crystal River 3 was a valued asset which benefitted OUC's customers for 38 years. Though we would have preferred to see the unit continue operations for several more years, we're comfortable with the settlement that was reached which keeps us from having any future financial obligation and allows us to explore other opportunities," Trudell said.

According to Florida newspaper, The Orlando Sentinel, seven other minority owners, including Leesburg and New Smyrna Beach, are signing off on Duke's buy-back deal worth a combined $55 million. Another nine utilities, including those in Mount Dora and Gainesville, are selling back their rights to buy power from the Duke plant.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News