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Public Service Commission


12/19/2006 Contact: 850-413-6482

PSC Proposes Rule to Encourage Nuclear Power Development

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Public Service Commission (Commission) proposed rules today to encourage construction of additional nuclear-powered electric generation within the state. The Commissioners directed staff to continue discussions with the Office of Public Counsel and other parties to further refine the rule language.

Although nuclear plants are costly to construct, they are typically the least expensive type of power plant to operate. The proposed rules would permit investor-owned electric utilities to request partial recovery of the planning and construction costs of a nuclear power plant prior to commercial operation of the plant, as directed by state statute. Early recovery should reduce risks and encourage financial investment in nuclear power plants by allowing prudently incurred costs to be recovered as they are incurred. Phasing in cost recovery will mitigate the “rate shock” associated with recovering all the capital costs at the time a plant begins operating. Increased use of nuclear power lessens the impact on customers of storm disruptions to fossil fuel supplies, ensuring greater energy security for Florida.

“The Commission’s proposal will protect ratepayers while promoting investment in Florida’s energy future,” said Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar. “By encouraging the development of a  viable alternative energy source, we are further diversifying the state’s fuel supply and promoting a balanced mix of fuel sources for years to come.”