Duke to retire CR3 

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Special to the Citizen

Facing costly lengthy repairs, Duke Energy — parent company of Progress Energy Florida — has announced it will retire the Crystal River nuclear plant.

Retirement raises issues of job loss, reduced tax revenue, customer electricity bills, storing spent nuclear fuel, replacement power, the fate of related facilities, environmental and regulatory issues.

The plant known as CR3 has been shutdown and since 2009, predating the Progress-Duke merger. It currently has approximately 600 full-time employees, 200 long-term contract workers and another 400 short-term contract workers associated with the plant.

The company’s four coal plants, which employ about 300, will continue to operate at the energy complex. Two of those plants, however, are scheduled to be phased out in the near future.

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