The Tampa Bay Times reported today:
Progress Energy already plans to stick its customers with a $670 million bill for the botched upgrade to the Crystal River nuclear plant. Now those customers have reason to fear that Progress will try to stick them again.
Why? Progress’ oft-repeated contention that insurance will pay the rest of the $2.5 billion repair bill looks increasingly shaky.
• The insurer, which goes by the acronym NEIL (Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited,) already has stopped paying some earlier claims on the construction accident, which shut down the plant in 2009 during replacement of a steam generator.
• NEIL has created a high-ranking committee to investigate whether the accident was, as Progress contends, unforeseeable, unpredictable and unpreventable.
• Now NEIL has delayed an expected decision on whether to pay Progress’ claim as its review continues.
A lot depends on the insurer’s decision:
That in turn has delayed a final decision on whether the plant ever reopens.
State Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said utility officials told him that they’ll shut down the plant in Crystal River, in Citrus County, if NEIL denies the claim.