NRC approves NextEra St Lucie nuclear power uprate

Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:54am EDT

* FPL to add about 400 MW of new nuclear capacity
    * Company planned to spend about $1.5 billion on uprates

    Sept 25 (Reuters) - The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(NRC) approved a power uprate for Unit 2 at Florida Power &
Light's (FPL) St. Lucie nuclear power plant in Florida to
increase the reactor's output by 17 percent from about 853
megawatts (MW) to 1,002 MW.
    The NRC approved a similar uprate for St. Lucie Unit 1 in
July from 853 MW to 982 MW, the federal agency said in a release
late Monday.
    One megawatt can power about 340 homes in South Florida, FPL
has said.
    FPL, a unit of Florida power company NextEra Energy Inc
,  planned to spend about $1.5 billion to add about 400
MW of capacity in total at four reactors - two at St. Lucie and
two at Turkey Point in Florida.
    The company said it has already completed the uprate at St.
Lucie 1 and was in the process of finishing St Lucie 2.
    Turkey Point 3 is currently ramping up following its uprate
and refueling outage and Turkey Point 4 was expected to shut
later in the autumn for its uprate and refueling.
    In June, the NRC approved of the Turkey Point 3 uprate from
about 700 MW to 823 MW. Turkey Point 4 currently has a capacity
of about 693 MW, according to federal data.
    St. Lucie is located on Hutchinson Island about 110 miles
(177 km) north of Miami. Turkey Point is located in Florida City
about 25 miles (40 km) south of Miami.
    Separately, FPL has proposed to build two of Westinghouse
Electric's new 1,100-MW AP1000 reactors at the Turkey Point
site. Westinghouse Electric is a unit of Japanese multinational
Toshiba Corp.
    FPL filed with the NRC to build and operate the new reactors
in June 2009. The NRC however is revising the schedule for
deciding on the new reactors at Turkey Point in addition to most
other applications for new reactors. The most recent date for a
decision on Turkey Point on the NRC website was 2014.
    FPL meanwhile has not yet decided to build the new reactors,
but has said on its website that the two units would cost about
$12 billion to $18 billion and could enter service around 2022
and 2023.
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