Levy nuclear plant clears environmental hurdle
Published: Monday, January 12, 2009 at 4:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 12, 2009 at 4:46 p.m.
Progress Energy sailed over one of its last hurdles Monday when the
Florida Department of Environmental Protection gave the utility
permission to continue with its plans for a 2,200-megawatt nuclear
power plant in Levy County.
The "conditions of certification" report by FDEP was one of the final
steps Progress Energy needed before starting its $17 billion project.
The plant, which is slated for completion in 2017, will generate
enough power to serve an estimated 1.4 million Florida homes.
Progress Energy already has about 1.7 million Florida customers, with
about 62,000 in Marion County and 4,700 in Alachua County. The Levy
County plant will pump about 122 million gallons of water per day from
the Cross Florida Barge Canal to cool steam created in the process of
In its 100-page report, FDEP concluded that Progress Energy could
build its nuclear plant as long as it complied with FDEP's rules with
regard to construction, handling of waste materials and environmental
impacts. FDEP will also require the plant to maintain monitoring wells
at its site.
Some of FDEP's conclusions were:
* That the direct environmental impacts to wetlands due to the plant's
construction and related activities will be offset through mitigation.
* A minimal amount of regulated air pollutants will result from the
project as compared to other types of power plants.
* That once the nuclear plant is completed, Progress Energy plans to
close its two Crystal River coal-fired plants, significantly reducing
pollutants.A copy of the complete FDEP report is available from this ftp site.
Fred Hiers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-867-4157.
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