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Apr 16, 2:04 PM EDT

Florida regulators ok plan to drop nuclear fee off bills

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- State regulators are approving a proposal by one of Florida's largest power companies to drop a nuclear power fee now charged to customers.

The Florida Public Service Commission last October ordered Duke Energy Florida to refund $54 million it collected from ratepayers to pay for a failed nuclear plant in Levy County.

Commissioners on Thursday approved Duke's proposal to end the average $3.45 a month charge starting in May.

Duke announced in 2013 it was abandoning plans to build the plant on Florida's Gulf coast.

Duke and a company that was supposed to provide equipment for the plant are involved in lawsuits over the project. Duke officials wanted to wait until the lawsuits were resolved before crediting customers.

Those lawsuits are still ongoing and could result in additional charges in the future.

Duke has roughly 1.7 million customers.

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