The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an order to Duke Energy Florida (DEF) approving the direct transfer of Facility Operating License No. DPR- 72 for the retired Crystal River Unit 3 to the extent held by eight minority co-owners to DEF.
The eight minority co-owners, all municipalities or utilities in Florida, are: the City of Alachua, City of Bushnell, City of Gainesville, City of Kissimmee, City of Leesburg, New Smyrna Beach Utilities Commission/City of New Smyrna Beach, City of Ocala, and Orlando Utilities Commission/City of Orlando.
“The direct license transfer does not involve Seminole Electric Cooperative, Inc., the remaining co-owner of CR-3,” said the NRC in a notice to be published in the June 8 Federal Register. “A conforming license amendment will remove reference to the eight minority co-owners in the license. The CR-3 facility is permanently shut down and defueled and the application proposed no physical changes to the facility or operational changes. DEF and Seminole Electric Corporation, Inc., will be joint owners of CR-3 and DEF will be the operator of the facility.”
Said the Duke website about this unit: “On Feb. 5, 2013, Duke Energy announced its decision to retire the Crystal River Nuclear Plant, known as CR3, located on Florida’s Gulf Coast approximately 85 miles north of Tampa. While replacing two 500-ton steam generators during a scheduled maintenance and refueling outage in October 2009, engineers discovered a delamination, or separation of concrete, within the containment building that surrounds the reactor vessel. Though crews successfully repaired the damage, additional delamination was discovered in two different areas of the containment building in 2011.
“After completing a comprehensive, months-long analysis of costs, risks and other factors, Duke Energy determined that retiring the plant, instead of continuing to pursue a first-of-its-kind repair to the containment building, was in the best interests of customers and shareholders. An independent review commissioned in 2012 confirmed that repairing the containment building was technically feasible but included significant risks that could raise the cost of the repair and extend the repair schedule significantly.
“CR3 remains in a safe, stable condition. The plant’s comprehensive emergency preparedness plans and full-time, around-the-clock security force remain in place.
“CR3 went into service March 13, 1977, generating on average 860 megawatts of electricity and helping to supply reliable, affordable and clean electricity to approximately 1.7 million customers in Florida.
“Duke Energy owns 91.8 percent of the Crystal River Nuclear Plant. Nine other utilities own 8.2 percent of the plant, including the City of Alachua, City of Bushnell, City of Gainesville, Kissimmee Utilities Authority, City of Leesburg, New Smyrna Beach Utilities Commission, City of Ocala, Orlando Utilities Commission and Seminole Electric Cooperative, Inc.”