Nuclear plant cost hearings start Wednesday

If approved, bills may increase a couple bucks

Florida's two largest power companies are asking the Florida Public Service Commission permission to charge customers for nuclear power plants that have yet to be built.

Florida Power & Light wants to charge customers $196 million dollars, while Progress Energy wants to charge $135 million. Both increases would amount to two dollars or less a month per customer. FPL Spokesman Mark Bubriski says the power company needs to begin building now, to have enough energy for the state's growing population.

"We are looking to the future now, both the near term future and the long term future and making sure we have enough power for our customers. The great thing about nuclear is it's a low fuel cost source," said Bubriski.

If approved, FPL will upgrade two of its nuclear reactors and build two more with the money. Progress's proposed rate increase would help the power company build a nuclear plant in Levy County.

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