February 5, 2013 / 1:55 PM / 5 years ago

Duke Energy to close Crystal River nuclear plant

Feb 5 (Reuters) - Duke Energy Corp said it will retire its 838 megawatt Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida, which has been shut since 2009 due to serious cracks found in the containment building walls.

The plant passed into Duke’s hands last year when it acquired Raleigh, North Carolina-based Progress Energy for $18 billion, making it the largest electric utility and second-largest nuclear operator in the United States.

The shutdown of the reactor played a role in the surprise ouster of Bill Johnson, the Progress executive who had been slated to lead the merged company.

About 600 full-time employees work at the plant and the company said it was working to place as many affected employees as possible in other positions within the company.

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