Progress says new nuclear reactors delayed until after 2020

By Dorothy Davis 

Following statements last week outlining the challenges of nuclear energy development in the United States, Progress Energy (NYSE:PGN) CEO  William Johnson told Bloomberg the company has pushed back completion dates for planned nuclear reactor projects in Florida and North Carolina until after 2020.

Progress, which agreed last month to be purchased by Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), said its plans for construction of the new nuclear reactors would be more feasible after the merger’s completion because of the combined companies’ larger balance sheet. Johnson estimated the cost of a new two-reactor plant at $13 billion.

Johnson also mentioned the company has engaged in informal talks with Scana Corp. and state-owned utility Santee Cooper about taking a stake in the reactor project near Jenkinsville, S.C. He outlined talks would become more concrete following initial licensing of the plant by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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