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Progress Energy Florida Issues Statement Regarding Filing Of Crystal River Nuclear Plant Engineering Report

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Below is a statement issued today by Alex Glenn, incoming president of Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy.

Today, we provided to the Florida Public Service Commission the report from Zapata Inc., regarding its independent review of the potential repair plan for the Crystal River Nuclear Plant (CR3).

As part of the ongoing evaluation of the pending decision to repair or retire the unit, and given the complexity of the issue, Duke Energy commissioned the independent technical review in March to further analyze the potential scope, risks, costs and schedule of the prospective repair. Independent evaluations such as this are common in the nuclear industry when addressing complex matters, particularly a first-of-a-kind engineering, construction and licensing project like the one contemplated at CR3. 

The review found that the current repair plan appears to be technically feasible, but significant risks and technical issues still need to be resolved, including the ultimate scope of any repair work. The Zapata report estimated the repair cost at approximately $1.49 billion. Progress Energy's prior assessment indicated expected repair cost of $900 million to $1.3 billion, with the costs trending up. The report confirmed, as Progress Energy's assessment had indicated, that an increase in the scope of repairs will increase the cost and extend the schedule.

Zapata also prepared approximate estimates for more extensive work based on potential unplanned scenarios, up to and including its worst-case scenario. This scenario assumed that the company would perform Progress Energy's more limited scope of work, and at the conclusion of that work, additional damage would occur in the dome and in the lower elevations, which would force the replacement of each. Under the worst-case scenario, Zapata estimated that the cost could be $3.43 billion with a 96-month schedule.

We have not made a final decision on whether to repair or retire CR3. The decision and schedule will be driven by the final analysis, not vice-versa. The evolving analysis also will provide increasing detail on cost and schedule expectations.

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