Florida residents in Citrus County will be spared the risks of a nuclear accident from their Crystal River nuclear power plant. Duke Energy, the operator of the facility, announced plans to permanently close the 36 year-old facility, due to failed attempts to repair the power plant.
“The largest U.S. electricity company said Tuesday it will permanently close a Florida nuclear power plant after botched repairs and use $835 million from an insurance settlement to refund consumers forced to pay for higher-cost replacement power,” the Huffington Post reports.
There has been a long-running debate between environmentalists and the energy industry over the dangers from accidents at nuclear power plants, and the lower-cost energy they produce.
As America’s nuclear power facilities age, more nuclear power plants may have to be closed.
Environmental activists from Greenpeace have called for congressional action to force the closure of old nuclear power plants, like the one in Crystal River.
Greenpeace cites some disturbing facts on their petition site. “1 in 3 Americans live within 50 miles of a nuclear plant and are threatened by a nuclear disaster. These dangerous old nuclear plants are vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes, as well as deliberate attack.”
Nuclear power plants in the US are, on average, more than 30 years old.
Progress Energy Florida and Duke Energy have been using the Crystal River nuclear power plant to supply energy to much of Central Florida over the past 36 years. No definitive plans have yet been announced on how that power will be replaced, or how much it will cost consumers.