Reactors in the Distance

Posted by Henry Taksier, April 26, 2012

Above: Crystal River Nuclear Facility lies dormant amongst the stacks of Progress Energy’s coal plants in Citrus County, Fla. In addition to fixing and renewing this 35-year-old reactor, the company is in the final phases of establishing an entirely new facility in the neighboring Levy County. Photo by Ashley Crane.

Environmental organizations and industry critics question Progress Energy’s plans to revive nuclear energy in Florida

A breezy weekend morning overlooking Crystal River makes you forget you’re so close to Gainesville for a moment. The air’s quiet and crisp, critters rustle through the grass and fish weave through the glistening water. In the distance, two nuclear power plant cooling towers shimmer.

Certainly an unexpected presence at the otherwise pristine Crystal River, Progress Energy’s nuclear facility is more than just an eyesore. In the past three years, the 35-year-old plant has had three major structural defects, which put it out of commission in 2009, just one year after Progress Energy applied for the plant’s 20-year license renewal.

While a host of environmental organizations and experts warn that nuclear energy in Florida is dangerous, unnecessary and unfair to rate payers, Progress Energy plans to not only renew the license of its current plant, but to also build an entirely new plant in Levy County, about eight miles north of the Crystal River facility.

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Read more via The Fine Print: Reactors in the Distance

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