Duke Energy notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Thursday that it is suspending its application to build new reactors at the Shearon Harris nuclear plant. NC WARN welcomed the announcement but scolded the utility for wasting millions of dollars that could have been spent on energy-saving programs. “The Shearon Harris failure perfectly typifies why the U.S. nuclear ‘renaissance’ is making global warming worse,” Executive Director Jim Warren said in a statement.
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Duke Energy’s cancellation yesterday of licensing efforts to build two nuclear reactors at subsidiary Progress Energy’s Harris nuclear plant is good news – but it comes with a taint. Duke-Progress threw away eight years and $70 million – while blocking widespread advances in energy-saving programs, solar and wind, and combined heat and power.
When Progress Energy applied for a rate increase last fall, the request didn’t include $70 million the Raleigh electric utility had spent on a planned addition of two reactors at the Shearon Harris nuclear plant in Wake County. But Duke Energy, which acquired Progress last summer, plans to recover those costs and pass them on to customers, Duke CEO Jim Rogers told investors Friday. Rogers revealed the company’s intentions a day after Charlotte-based Duke announced it is canceling the Shearon Harris expansion.
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.
In documents filed Wednesday with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), a wide range of national and grassroots environmental groups said it would be impossible for the NRC to adequately conduct a court-ordered assessment of the environmental implications of long-term storage of spent nuclear reactor fuel in the two short years the federal agency envisions for the process.
The first US nuclear plant being built in a generation tumbles further into a perfect storm of cost overruns, delays, corporate bungling and an uncertain future, as documented last week by a career nuclear engineer monitoring the project for Georgia regulators.
This is not a critique of the proposed nuclear power plant in Levy County. Let the engineers, watchdogs and investors debate the details of that plan. This is about something simpler. In some ways, something far more important. This is about credibility.
Consumers Against Rate Hikes claims victory and thanks legislators as the 2012 legislative session closes without an Annual Rate Hikes Bill that would raise rates for electricity customers every year to build expensive, unnecessary nuclear plants.
Groups from 5 merger states urge NC hearings; WARN calls for sunshine on 15 secret deals and for attorney general to investigate backroom pressure over SC nuclear project.
See NC WARN’s motion
See NC WARN’s letter to Attorney General Roy Cooper