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Business & Economy

Duke Energy Could Spend Billions To Fix Florida Plant

Duke Energy may have to pay billions of dollars to repair the Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida.

A Charlotte engineering firm says the cost to fix a cracking outer-concrete layer of the containment unit could reach 3-point-4 billion dollars. Utility spokesman Mike Hughes says that's a worst-case scenario.

Mike Hughes: "Including having to do additional repair work that is not part of the planned repair scope."

Questions over Progress Energy's Crystal River site were an issue in the merger with Duke Energy. C-E-O Jim Rogers said during hearings in Raleigh that those questions contributed to his board deciding not to keep former Progress C-E-O Bill Johnson as leader of the combined company. Hughes says Duke Energy hasn't decided whether it will make repairs. It could decide to retire the plant. Florida consumer lawyer J-R Kelly says Duke Energy is in mediation for insurance coverage to fix the plant. He says that will drive what the company decides. Regulators are still reviewing the Duke merger with Progress Energy in the meantime.

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