Crystal River Nuclear Plant decommissioning could take decades - FOX 13 News

Crystal River Nuclear Plant decommissioning could take decades

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CRYSTAL RIVER (FOX 13) -

In February, Duke Energy announced it would be retiring the Crystal River Nuclear Plant.

Last month, it submitted its plans to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to decommission it.

"The decommissioning process is a well-defined structured lengthy process," said Duke Energy spokesperson Heather Danenhower.

On Thursday, Duke held an open forum to answer questions and concerns.

"Honestly, the first thing that we were concerned about from a city-county perspective is loss of jobs," said city councilman Ken Brown.

There were about 600 people working at the plant before the process began.

"About 200 have taken other positions in the company, about a hundred left with severance benefits," Danenhower said.

Roughly 300 stayed on to work through the decommissioning process.

So what about the cost? How will Duke pay the $1.18 billion? Will it come from customers?

"We do have a nuclear decommission trust fund we believe at this time is sufficient enough to pay for decommission without going to Florida customers to ask for an increase," Danenhower said.

Environmental concerns also came up regarding the handling of the spent fuel.

"In the short term, it will remain the pool since 1978; in the meantime, we'll build that dry cast storage," she said.

Danenhower said round-the-clock security will remain as well.

While the ducks seem to be in a row, Councilman Ken Brown said it's still a bittersweet time in Crystal River.

"It been a part of our community a long time. You get used to it being there, it was an economic driver, it's sad to see it go," said Brown.

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