By John Murawski
After years of delays and postponements, Duke Energy issued an obituary for a pair of long-planned reactors at the Shearon Harris nuclear plant in Wake County.
The Charlotte power company has canceled plans to add the new reactors to the site, where a single unit has been generating electricity for a quarter-century. Duke told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that sluggish growth forecasts show new nuclear units won’t be needed for at least 15 years.
The announcement Thursday spells the end of the vaunted nuclear renaissance in the Triangle, a fast-growing region that until the recession had signified the urgent need for nuclear energy.
“They kept teasing and talking about it for some time,” said Jim Warren, director of NC WARN, a Durham anti-nuclear group. “All these grand plans for building nuclear stations are going by the wayside.”
It’s the second nuclear project Duke has canceled since acquiring Raleigh-based Progress Energy in July. Earlier this year Duke said it would not repair Progress’s idled Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida.