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Updated: 10/18/2013 01:19:00AM

Fla. regulators approve nuclear plant settlement

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida customers of Duke Energy will be paying the next several years for shuttered nuclear power plants under a settlement approved by state regulators.

The Florida Public Service Commission spent roughly 20 minutes debating the settlement before approving it Thursday.

The settlement resolves issues surrounding Duke’s Crystal River nuclear power plant and a proposed plant in Levy County.

The Crystal River plant was shut down permanently following repairs that cracked a wall in the facility. This summer, the Charlotte, N.C. based company abandoned plans to build the Levy County plant.

Under the settlement, the average residential customer would pay $5.62 a month starting in January. But the cost could go up even more between 2015 and 2019.

Critics are calling the settlement a “rip-off” for customers.

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