St. Petersburg lawmaker wants Duke nuclear hearings reopened

State Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, on Wednesday called on the speaker of the House and the president of the Senate to reopen hearings into the Duke Energy Florida's nuclear fiascos.

In letters Tuesday to Speaker Will Weatherford and President Don Gaetz, Dudley complained that Duke's 1.7 million Florida customers are unfairly bearing the largest share of the costs for problems created by the utility.

Last February, Duke announced the permanent closure of the Crystal River nuclear plant in Citrus County after the reactor's concrete containment building cracked during an upgrade project in 2009. In August, the utility agreed to cancel the proposed $24.7 billion Levy County nuclear plant as part of a settlement agreement over the Crystal River fiasco.

The settlement ended all inquiries into troubles with the two nuclear projects.

Dudley said he would like the state Public Service Commission to reopen hearings on the nuclear issues and for the House energy committee to hold hearings on the matter.

"On behalf of the approximately 1.7 million Duke Energy ratepayers, I respectfully request that the PSC Settlement Agreement hearings be reopened and hearings be held to investigate what caused and who is responsible for the damage to the Crystal River III nuclear reactor, a multi-billion dollar asset," Dudley said.

Environmental groups led by Greenpeace and Florida PIRG also have asked state regulators to reconsider the settlement agreement with Duke over Crystal River and Levy.

Dudley said he would like the state Public Service Commission to reopen hearings on the nuclear issues and the House energy committee to hold hearings on the matter.  In response, Weatherford said, "As Speaker, I do not have the authority to reopen or direct the PSC to reopen a settlement agreement. Rep. Dudley is a lawyer and undoubtedly knows the law."

St. Petersburg lawmaker wants Duke nuclear hearings reopened 11/06/13 [Last modified: Thursday, November 7, 2013 8:16am]

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