How much is that nuclear plant in the window?

The N.C. Utilities Commission has decided that Duke Energy will not have to disclose cost estimates to state residents in preparing for a proposed nuclear-power plant to serve North and South Carolina customers, according to a report today by The Raleigh News & Observer. The twin-reactor plant is proposed for construction in Cherokee County, S.C. — just south of the N.C. border. Most of the customers served would be in North Carolina, however, where the Utilities Commission has now agreed with Duke Power that state law protects the cost estimate as a “trade secret.”

“Customers would ultimately pay for any new power plants through their monthly rates,” the article states, noting that some estimates for a single reactor run in the $9 billion range. Duke Energy argued that revealing cost estimates would affect vendor and contractor negotiations and keep the company from getting the lowest cost.

A South Carolina decision on the question of disclosure is anticipated in May, according to the article.

Meanwhile, a public hearing concerning the same proposed plant — which would be located some 60 miles southwest of Asheville — has been scheduled by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for Thursday, May 1, at 7 p.m., at Gaffney High School, 149 Twin Lake Road in Gaffney, S.C. More information is available through Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League or by contacting Mary Olson with the Nuclear Information and Resource Service at 675-1792.

Nelda Holder, associate editor


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2 thoughts on “How much is that nuclear plant in the window?

  1. travelah

    The tickler comment to this story is somewhat misleading.

    “N.C. regulators decide that the public will be kept in the dark on cost estimates for Duke Energy’s proposed nuclear-power plant near the WNC/South Carolina border.”

    The truth of the matter is vendors and contractors are not going to have an inside peek at Duke’s cost structure so that they might shape their estimates to suit themselves. The N.C. Utilities Commission is our public representative and those cost estimates will be revealed to the commission by law in setting rates and tariffs. If South Carolina takes an opposing position ( and that seems to be your desire) the end result is customers will pay higher rates because of the rigging of proposals by vendors. Thats bad news for both of us.

  2. Nelda Holder

    The Charlotte Observer reports today ( some 200 people attended last night’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearing, where public input was solicited before beginning an environmental impact study anticipated to take two years.

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