Duke Energy will seek to renew nuclear plant licenses to support its carbon reduction goals

(STL.News) – Charlotte, N.C. – Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) announced today it will seek to renew the operating licenses of the 11 reactors it operates at six nuclear stations in the Carolinas for an additional 20 years.

“Our nuclear power plants have safely and reliably provided electricity to our Carolinas customers for decades,” said Preston Gillespie, Duke Energy’s chief nuclear officer.  “These plants generate clean and cost-effective power, provide thousands of well-paying jobs, and produce substantial economic benefits for the Carolinas.  Renewing the licenses of these plants is important for our customers, communities and environment.”

The first Duke Energy nuclear power plants will approach the end of their current operating licenses in the early 2030s.  Rigorous, ongoing preventive maintenance programs across the nuclear fleet and technology upgrades and investments over the years at all stations have contributed to their continuing strong operating performance.  In 2018, Duke Energy’s nuclear fleet marked its 20th consecutive year with a fleet capacity factor – a measure of reliability – greater than 90%.

The company expects to submit the license renewal application for Oconee Nuclear Station in 2021, followed by its other nuclear stations.  Oconee is the company’s largest nuclear station, with three generating units that produce more than 2,500 megawatts (MW).