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Florida House panel rejects effort to repeal nuclear power plant fee

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida — State legislators are refusing to repeal a law that lets utility companies charge for future nuclear power plants.

A House panel on Monday rejected a proposal by St. Petersburg Rep. Dwight Dudley to repeal the law.

Utilities normally cannot begin billing customers for construction costs or upgrades until generating facilities go into service. But a 2006 law carved out an exception to that policy for nuclear power.

Florida's two largest power companies since that time have charged customers for nuclear power projects. But the fee has come under fire since Duke Energy Florida was allowed to collect it even after the company said it was halting plans to build a plant in Levy County.

Duke officials earlier this month asked regulators to drop the fee as early as this summer.

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