Progress Energy May Build New Nuclear Plant In Florida

POSTED: 10:48 am EDT October 4, 2005  (c) Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Progress Energy Florida  may build another nuclear power plant in Florida, with rural counties in the central part of the state providing some of the most attractive options for a site, the company's president said.

Progress Energy president and chief executive Bill Habermeyer told the St. Petersburg Times on Monday that customer growth, rising conventional fuel costs and a pronuclear stance by the Bush administration are leading the company to seriously consider building a second nuclear power plant in Florida.

Progress Energy expects to select a design and site, possibly in rural Polk, Seminole, Osceola or Highlands counties, by the end of the year. The plant could be up and running by 2015.

While Pinellas and Pasco counties account for the greatest portion of electricity demand in the company's Florida service territory, central Florida is experiencing the greatest customer growth, a key consideration when siting a power plant.

Choosing a site and vendor for a nuclear plant is among the first formal steps of a lengthy license application process that could take years.

Habermeyer said that nuclear power's lack of carbon emissions and its ability to potentially reduce American dependency on foreign energy sources give it significant advantages.

"When you look at the choices ahead, I think nuclear provides a better alternative," he said.  [More of the usual obfuscation and misdirection using so-called Global Warming as the boogeyman - The Archivist]

Progress Energy already operates a nuclear generating plant in Crystal River in Citrus County, which opened in 1977. A new nuclear plant would be the first one in Florida since 1983, when Florida Power & Light opened a second reactor at its St. Lucie nuclear complex near Fort Pierce.


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