WASHINGTON—Duke Power Co. today announced it will submit an application Tuesday to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission seeking renewal of the company's operating licenses at the Oconee nuclear station for an additional 20 years. The following is a statement by Ralph Beedle, senior vice president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, in response to today's announcement by Duke Power.
"Duke Power's decision to renew the Oconee nuclear station license is a major milestone. Beyond being great news for electricity consumers in the Carolinas, the renewal filing is further evidence that nuclear power plants are well-positioned to continue their role as major power producers in a competitive electricity market.
"Duke Power's decision—coupled with a similar application in April by Baltimore Gas & Electric for its Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant—is the beginning of a new era for nuclear energy in the United States. These two plants are the first of what we anticipate will be many license renewals by utilities in the months and years to come.
"Most immediately, renewing the operating licenses means that the Oconee nuclear station can continue to do what it does best—generate clean, low-cost electricity safely. On a broader level, it also signifies that nuclear energy is increasingly being recognized as the low-cost, clean-air energy source that will help the United States achieve its energy and environmental goals."
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org.