published Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Business Briefs: Nuclear shutdown spurs complaints

Nuclear shutdown spurs complaints

Consumer advocates want Duke Energy to refund its Florida customers hundreds of millions of dollars for "woefully inadequate" handling of the now shuttered Crystal River nuclear plant.

The state Public Counsel's Office, which represents consumers before the Public Service Commission, has filed a petition asking the regulatory body to open an investigation into Duke's decisions about the 36-year-old nuclear plant. The petition, backed by the 8,000-member Florida Retail Federation, is the first challenge to Duke's move earlier this month to permanently shut down the utility's sole nuclear plant in the state. Problems developed at the plant during a steam generator replacement when Bill Johnson, now CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority, was head of the utility.

Lawmakers eye airline merger

Members of Congress expressed misgivings Tuesday about a proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways, pressing company officials about whether the $11 billion deal would preserve competition and jobs and keep fares from rising.

The combined company, which would become the world's largest airline, would have a concentration of hubs serving the eastern and southern portions of the country, including airports at Dallas-Fort Worth; Miami; Charlotte, N.C.; Phoenix; and Philadelphia, as well as John F. Kennedy International in New York. Both airlines also serve Chattanooga's airport.

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