Sterling Ivey, Duke Energy spokesman, said the utility is seeking a license for the plant. "The Levy County nuclear project continues to be the best long-term base-load generation resource for Florida when evaluating cost, potential carbon regulation, fuel-price volatility and the benefits of fuel diversification," Ivey stated.

Bradford counters that the state's nuclear cost-recovery law, which allows years of advance payments from customers, "is all that's propping up proposals to build Florida's hopelessly uneconomic nuclear plants."

In a response to ENR about the cost-recovery statute, Duke's Ivey underscored the point, saying, "Without this legislation, we would not be considering building new nuclear generation in Florida."

The issues of high costs and regulatory uncertainty related to nuclear projects are not unique to the U.S. On May 8, Platts—like ENR, a subsidiary of McGraw Hill Financial—reported similar issues overseas based on its recent survey of the European nuclear-power industry.

In announcing the survey results, Platts stated, "High capital costs and maintaining public confidence are seen as the greatest challenges facing the European nuclear-power industry."

The original file incorrectly stated the ownership of the South Texas project. A subsidiary of Toshiba has an ownership stake in that project, not Mitsubishi.