Duke Energy has terminated the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement for two 1100-megawatt AP1000 nuclear reactors in Levy County, Florida, blaming regulatory delays and increased uncertainty surrounding cost recovery.

The company said it will write-off $65 million related to investments in the Levy nuclear project.

"As a result of delays by the NRC in issuing COLs for new nuclear plants, as well as increased uncertainty in cost recovery caused by recent legislative changes in Florida, Duke Energy will be terminating the EPC agreement for the proposed Levy nuclear project," a statement said.

Duke Energy, which signed the $7.65 billion EPC contract with Westinghouse and the Shaw Group in January 2009, said that the agreement "was based on the ability to obtain a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) combined construction and operating license (COL) by 1 January 2014."

It said that while the project is no longer an option for meeting energy needs within the originally scheduled time frame of 2016 to 2018, Duke Energy "continues to regard the Levy site as a viable option for future nuclear generation and understands the importance of fuel diversity in creating a sustainable energy future."

Duke Energy said that it "will continue to pursue the COL outside of the nuclear cost recovery clause."

A final decision on new nuclear generation on Florida will be based on a variety of factors, including "energy needs, project costs, carbon regulation, natural gas prices, existing or future legislative provisions for cost recovery, and the requirements of the NRC’s COL," Duke said.