After canceled nuclear plant, Florida legislator seeks repeal of advance fee law

Published Aug. 15, 2013

State Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, filed a bill Thursday that would repeal the law that allows utilities to charge customers for new nuclear plants before building them.

Rehwinkel Vasilinda filed HB 4001 in response to what she called a "growing public outcry" against the law, which she views as a regressive, anticonsumer energy policy.

"The passage of this bill should be one of our highest priorities for Florida consumers," she said.

The representative noted in a statement to the media that Duke Energy this month canceled its long proposed Levy County nuclear project, despite running up a tab of $1.5 billion by using the so-called nuclear advance fee.

Duke is still pursuing a license from federal regulators, since that process is nearly complete.

Florida Power & Light, the state's largest utility, continues to pursue construction of two new reactors at its Turkey Point power station. FPL is spending $228.5 million trying to get its federal license.

Meanwhile, experts increasingly say new nuclear plants are no longer economically feasible with the low cost of natural gas.