FPL estimate of costs to increase capacity of nuclear reactors jumps to double initial projections

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The cost of increasing the capacity at Florida Power & Light Co.’s four nuclear reactors has risen to $3 billion, a $600 million jump since the company’s estimate last year and double the original estimate.  FPL is increasing the generating capacity to its existing reactors at its St. Lucie nuclear plant on Hutchinson Island and its Turkey Point plant in Miami-Dade County

“The amount for these uprates is increasing at an alarming rate,” said Florida public counsel J.R. Kelly, the state’s advocate for utility customers.

In 2009, FPL told the Florida Public Service Commission that the two projects would cost $1.5 billion.

In 2012 FPL sought $196 million in advance nuclear costs from customers, in 2013, FPL is seeking an additional $151 million.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff is concurrently increasing its oversight of Unit 1 at the St. Lucie nuclear power plant as a result of the number and type of unplanned shutdowns the plant has experienced.

Representatives from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission met with members of the public Wednesday to address concerns and answers questions regarding the Florida Power and Light Co. nuclear power plant and commission regulations.

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