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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.

Gurnal Scott joined North Carolina Public Radio in March 2012 after several stops in radio and television. After graduating from the College of Charleston in his South Carolina hometown, he began his career in radio there. He started as a sports reporter at News/Talk Radio WTMA and won five Sportscaster of the Year awards. In 1997, Gurnal moved on to television as general assignment reporter and weekend anchor for WCSC-TV in Charleston. He anchored the market's top-rated weekend newscasts until leaving Charleston for Memphis, TN in 2002. Gurnal worked at WPTY-TV for two years before returning to his roots in radio. He joined the staff of Memphis' NewsRadio 600 WREC in 2004 eventually rising to News Director. In 2006, Raleigh news radio station WPTF came calling and he became the station's chief correspondent. Gurnal’s reporting has been honored by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, the North Carolina Associated Press, and the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.
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