The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved Duke Energy Florida, LLC’s (DEF) plan to decommission the Crystal River Nuclear Plant (CR3) by 2038. This is 36 years earlier than originally planned, shielding DEF’s customers from potential financial, environmental, and regulatory risks.
“Duke’s transaction requires no additional funds from its customers, and mitigates any risk from the plant’s otherwise long-term dormancy,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “Customers will also benefit from the plan’s fixed-price and elimination of continued execution and property maintenance risk.”
DEF finalized a contract with Accelerated Decommissioning Partners, LLC (ADP), locking in the cost of the entire process at $540 million. That amount will be covered by Duke's decommissioning trust for the plant, which was funded by the utility’s customers from 1982 to 2002, as required by the federal Department of Energy. DEF selected ADP in part because it offered the most competitive bid in DEF’s vendor selection process.
The transaction with ADP and its subsidiaries for decommissioning CR3 is consistent with the PSC-approved 2017 Settlement for DEF with one exception: the deposit of funds recovered from the Department of Energy for capital costs incurred historically for spent fuel management. The PSC determined that these capital costs should be returned to DEF customers through the Capacity Cost Recovery Clause.
In May 2019, DEF announced its plan to decommission CR3 ahead of schedule and to contract with ADP, a joint venture between NorthStar Group Services, Inc. and Orano Decommissioning Holdings, LLC, to perform the work. Set to begin this year, both decommissioning and site restoration are expected to be completed by 2038. DEF had previously announced its decision in 2013 to decommission the plant by 2074.
DEF remains the Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed owner of the nuclear plant, property and equipment and retains ownership and control of the trust fund that pays for the decommissioning. ADP will become the Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed operator responsible for decommissioning the plant in compliance with all state and federal regulations. The PSC ordered DEF to provide quarterly decommissioning reports through the final period of partial license termination, allowing the PSC to monitor decommissioning activities and the status of the decommissioning trust fund.
Other approvals needed and granted for DEF’s transaction with ADP included the April I, 2020 NRC Order approving the Transfer of Licensed Authority, and the January 15, 2020 Internal Revenue Service Private Letter Ruling confirming use of the trust fund is permissible.
Located at the DEF’s Crystal River Energy Complex in Citrus County, CR3 operated from 1977 to 2009. DEF serves about 1.8 million customers in Florida.
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