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Company Addresses|Nuclear Plant Crack

WASHINGTON (CN) - Progress Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a public meeting to discuss a half-inch gap in the concrete containment vessel at the Crystal River 3 Nuclear Power Plant in Florida.

The plant is on Florida's West Coast, about 80 miles north of Tampa.

Progress Energy, which operates the plant, requested the meeting to give the NRC a status report on the company's efforts to evaluate the possible causes and extent of the recently discovered gap. The meeting will be held on Nov. 20 at the NRC's headquarters, and the public may observe and ask questions at the end.

The nuclear facility is the third plant built as part of the 4,700 acre Crystal River Energy Complex which contains a single pressurized water reactor and four fossil fuel power plants.

The reactor, which is rated to produce 914 megawatts of electric power, was out of service for scheduled maintenance when the gap was discovered. A Special Inspection Team the NRC dispatched to inspect the site in early October is expected to issue a report by the end of the year.

NRC officials say the plant will remain off-line until the team makes a review of any repair plans and subsequent repairs.

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