Duke Energy unit wants out of building Lee Nuclear Station

nuclear power plant construction august 25 elp

As part of a request to the North Carolina Utilities Commission for a rate increase, Duke Energy Carolinas asked regulators for cost recovery and a way out of its proposed William States Lee III Nuclear Generating Station.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based unit of Duke Energy can't cancel the new nuclear project all on its own, so it filed a proposal with regulators Friday specifically to cancel it.

Nuclear equipment firm Westinghouse, a unit of Japan's Toshiba Corp., filed bankruptcy in March after sinking about $6.3 billion on the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant and the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station, both new nuclear power projects that ran into delays and cost overruns. South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. decided in late July to stop construction on the Summer plant.

Duke Energy Carolinas seeks to make up a minimum of $368 million in pre-construction costs, likely from raising rates on customers, according to the Charlotte Business Journal. If regulators agree to the plan, Duke would spread out its cost recovery over 12 years.

Duke Carolinas has planned the new nuclear plant since 2005, and chose Gaffney, South Carolina as the construction site the following year.

The nuclear plant was to use a pair of AP1000 nuclear reactors. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued two Combined Operating Licenses for the project in December 2016.

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