Duke Energy granted control of Progress Energy's nuclear fleet in the Carolinas

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved the transfer of indirect control of Progress Energy’s (NYSE: PGN) nuclear plants to include Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) as the ultimate parent corporation on the licenses for these facilities. The action was part of the proposed merger of the two companies.

According to the application, Progress Energy Carolinas and Progress Energy Florida will continue to have the responsibilities associated with owning and operating their nuclear plants.

The indirect license transfers also won’t affect the financial qualifications, decommissioning funding assurance, or technical qualifications associated with the stations. No physical changes will be made to the facilities and there will be no changes in day-to-day operations, the application said.

Progress Energy Carolinas operates units 1 and 2 at Brunswick Steam Electric Plant and Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1, both in North Carolina; and the Unit 2 at the H.B. Robinson Steam Electric Plant in South Carolina. Progress Energy Florida operates Unit 3 at the Crystal River Nuclear Generating Plant in Florida.

Duke Energy operates McGuire Nuclear Station units 1 and 2 in North Carolina, and units 1 and 2 at the Catawba Nuclear Station and Oconee Nuclear Station units 1, 2 and 3, all located in South Carolina.

The 12 nuclear units have a combined capacity of 9,500 MW, or about 16.6 percent of the merged company’s total electricity capacity of 57,200 MW.

When the merger is complete, the new Duke Energy will operate the largest regulated nuclear fleet in the country.  The companies expect to close the deal by January 1, 2012, but that date depends on when regulatory approvals are gained.

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