- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

LA CYGNE, Kan. (AP) - Westar Energy has requested a $152 million rate increase from the Kansas Corporation Commission to pay for environmental upgrades and repairs at two state plants.

The Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/18m8Pw6 ) reports that the commission will evaluate the request over several months. The Citizen’s Utility Ratepayer’s Board, businesses and others can intervene to argue for a lower rate or disagree with how the company plans to distribute the funds.

About half the request would be used to bring the La Cygne coal-fired plant in line with federal emissions standards. The funds will also be used to make federally requested upgrades to the Wolf Creek Nuclear Generating Station.

The upgrade requirements were issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after a tsunami damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan in 2011, according to Westar executive John Bridson. The work is designed to keep systems running in the event of a natural disaster.

Other upgrades needed at Wolf Creek include replacing piping that pumps lake water into the reactor to cool it in case of an emergency and replacing a system that cools equipment, Bridson said.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com

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