Duke files COL application for Lee plant

14 December 2007

Duke Energy has submitted a combined construction and operation licence (COL) application with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the proposed new William States Lee III plant in Cherokee County, South Carolina.


The COL application filed by Duke for the Lee plant is based on two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors with a combined capacity of 2234 MWe.


Duke is the fourth company to submit a COL application to the NRC and the first to submit a COL application for a greenfield site. South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Co (STPNOC) filed a COL application for two GE-Hitachi Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWRs) at its existing South Texas plant in September 2007. This was followed in October by an application from Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for two Westinghouse AP1000 units at its Bellefonte site. At the end of November, Dominion submitted a COL application for a GE-Hitachi Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) at its North Anna plant. In July, Unistar and Constellation jointly submitted a partial application with the NRC for an Areva US Evolutionary Power Reactor (USEPR) at its Calvert Cliffs site. The remaining part of this application - the safety analysis - is expected to be filed by January 2008.


Duke's application uses Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA's) Bellefonte COL application as the Westinghouse AP1000 reference application. Duke Energy has yet to make a decision on whether or not to actually construct the Lee plant, but filing a COL application will keep the option open and save time later should the company decide to proceed with it.


"Submitting the COL application to the NRC is an important step for our customers and company," said Brew Barron, chief nuclear officer of Duke Energy. "This allows us to move forward in keeping the new nuclear generation option available in meeting the growing energy needs of the Carolinas."


Earlier this week, Duke Energy subsidiary Duke Energy Carolinas filed with the state regulators of both North and South Carolina for approval of its decision to incur "nuclear generation pre-construction costs" for the proposed Lee plant.


The company has announced plans to add some 3300-4100 MWe of generating capacity by 2016, an increase of at least 15% over its current capacity. In addition to the $4-$6 billion it will spend on Lee, Duke also plans to construct two gas-fired plants in North Carolina. It is also considering spending more than $1.9 billion on building a new 800 MWe coal-fired unit at its existing coal-fired Cliffside plant in North Carolina.


Further information


US Nuclear Regulatory Commission : Combined License Applications and Subsequent Documentation

WNA's US Nuclear Power Industry information paper

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