The separation of a concrete wall at Progress Energy Inc.'s Crystal River nuclear powerplant in northwest Florida has “fundamentally changed the way the [nuclear power] industry analyzes post-tensioned, pre-stressed concrete structures,” according to the utility’s Oct. 10 filing with the Florida Public Service Commission. The PSC is probing the incident and must approve the North Carolina-based utility's request to have ratepayers cover repair costs.
Raleigh-based Progress Energy is seeking to recover expenses related to the delamination of a wall at Crystal River’s nuclear unit No. 3, a problem first identified in October 2009 and again in March 2010 as the company was replacing steam generators in the unit. The utility says the cost to repair the 42-in.-thick containment structure would range from $900 million to $1.3 billion. Fuel to replace the power that the nuclear plant would have generated will add an additional $1 billion.