CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. - The nuclear power plant in Citrus County is shutting down.
Word spread quickly Tuesday around Citrus County that the nuclear power plant would be closed for good. The power plant has not been operation since 2009.
That's when Progress Energy, which is now part of Duke Energy, botched an upgrade, and broke the concrete containment building.
Efforts to fix it failed, meaning customers paid $1.3 billion and never received any extra power.
And the bill jumps to $2 billion when you factor in replacement power.
And now it's going to cost around $900 million more to shut it down.
A lot of people in Crystal River are wondering if they will still have a job in the near future.
Leaders in Citrus County say the area has grown up with plant -- and now they have to figure out how to live without a big part of it.
Sherri Ogen is worried what will happen to the 600 people who work at the Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant, now set to close for good.
"We don't really know, everybody's scared," said Ogen. "That's a lot of people that are employed over there, and that's a lot of people who are in limbo right now."
Sherri has lived in Crystal River for 20 years, and sells boots and uniforms to the plant at a Military Outlet store.
She says working at the plant is a goal for a lot of people. "That's where everybody tried to go, even the kids when they are getting out of school. They want to try and get to the plant and get in there to have a life-long job."
"This is a real punch to the gut," said Citrus County Commission Chariman Joe Meek. He says he's disappointed the company is giving up on the troubled nuclear reactor, but he hopes they will replace it with a natural gas plant.
"We are going to get through this, we are going to continue to attempt to have as best a relationship we can with Progress Energy as they make decisions about building future plants."
Closing the plant also means another big tax hit for Citrus County. Estimates are the reactor shutdown will mean as much as a $9 million dollar loss.
If more taxes aren't raised -- services could be cut.
"That's everything from police, fire, EMS, road, parks, libraries, the whole gamut," said Meek.
As for the 600 employees, Progress Energy says they are working to find them other jobs within the company. But many of those who worked at the reactor were highly-specialized, and that might not be so easy.
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