Nuke Concrete Repair Costs Higher

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 @ 12:10 PM gHale

Concrete delamination at Florida’s Crystal River nuclear plant will cost much more than the estimates done earlier by the facility’s owner, Progress Energy.

A Zapata Inc. review filed with the Florida Public Service Commission said the current repair plan appears technically feasible, according to a Duke Energy release, but challenges remain. While Progress’ earlier estimates for repair costs topped out at $1.3 billion, the new study estimated they would run closer to $1.5 billion.

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Factoring in potential unplanned contingencies, Zapata also provided cost estimates for more extensive repairs. They included a worst-case scenario requiring replacement of the dome and the lower elevations. Should that happen, repairs would cost an estimated $3.4 billion and take eight years.

The reactor north of Tampa has been offline since 2009 when the wall of its containment building was falling apart following a steam generator replacement. The plant’s owner has not decided whether to repair or retire the plant, and uncertainty over the costs ahead played a role in the ouster of Progress Energy Chief Executive Bill Johnson after his company merged with Duke Energy.

As it continues to analyze its options, a Duke said, “We will proceed with a repair option only if there is a high degree of confidence that the repair can be successfully completed and licensed within the final estimated costs and schedule, and is in the best interests of our customers, joint owners and investors.”

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