Nuclear 'the only way' for Duke

08 April 2009

[Charlotte Observer, 7 April] The construction of new nuclear power plants would be the only viable way for Duke Energy to meet increasing electricity demand should carbon emission taxes be introduced, according to Jim Rogers, the company's CEO. Duke needs to build new power plants in order to meet demand, but a carbon tax would cost the company heavily if it constructed more coal-fired plants. Rogers said: "The only way we could do it is with nuclear. The higher the price (of carbon) goes, the stronger the case for nuclear." Duke has proposed constructing the William States Lee III nuclear power plant in Cherokee County, South Carolina, at an estimated cost of $11 billion. Although Duke has not made a final decision whether to build the plant, Rogers reiterated that the company would prefer to construct the plant with regional partners to spread costs. In January 2007, Rogers called nuclear energy "almost the perfect choice" for Duke.