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Florida regulators defer Duke’s nuclear cost recovery, pass rate hike

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Florida commissioners approved a motion to defer Duke Energy Florida (NYSE: DUK)’s 2013 Nuclear Cost Recovery Clause proceeding to next year. As part of the agreement, commissioners agreed to a rate increase for Duke Energy customers to help pay for the Crystal River nuclear plant in addition to a charge for the planned Levy County nuclear plant.

The rate increase comes to $5.62 in nuclear charges for a 1,000 kWh customer starting in January 2014. It breaks down to $2.17 for the failed CR3 uprate project, which would last up to seven years, and $3.45 for the deferred Levy project, which could last another two or three years.

Duke announced in February that it was shutting down the nuclear unit at the Crystal River plant after workers caused cracks in the containment building during a 2009 upgrade project. Attempts to fix those cracks in 2011 caused more cracks. Duke also said recently that it would shelve plans to build two new reactors at the site in Levy County.

Commissioners also approved an administrative stipulation for Florida Power & Light that, in part, reduces the company’s recovery request by $1.6 million.

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