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Fla. Senate passes change to nuclear utility rates

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Senate is backing a proposal to change how much utility companies can charge for future nuclear power plants.

The Senate on Friday voted unanimously to alter a controversial law that lets Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy charge for proposed nuclear power projects.

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

The legislation (SB 1472) would place new limits on how much utilities could collect.

It would also require state regulators to sign off on the fee again after the utility reaches certain stages in the licensing and construction of the plant.