Westinghouse sues Duke Energy seeking payment for work on shelved Florida nuclear plants

Cranberry-based nuclear firm Westinghouse Electric Co. is suing Duke Energy Florida, claiming the firm broke a contract to build two nuclear power plants in Florida.

According to documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Duke Energy on Jan. 28 terminated a deal to build two plants in Levy County, Florida.

Westinghouse claims that Duke Energy Florida, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy Corp., refuses to pay for costs associated with the contract, including engineering and design work amounting to more than $512 million.

According to court documents, Duke Energy bought two Westinghouse reactors for the project in Levy County, Florida. In July 2008, Duke submitted an application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to construct and operate the plants.

However, in 2009, Duke sent a letter partially suspending work “without cause,” while also directing Westinghouse to “continue to perform any work that is necessary to support” the project, the lawsuit stated.

Sterling Ivey, a spokesperson for Duke Energy, said the company is reviewing the lawsuit.

“We cannot comment on pending litigation,” Mr. Ivey said.

Stephanie Ritenbaugh: sritenbaugh@post-gazette.com or 412-263-4910

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