It now appears that it will be at least the spring of 2016 before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will be ready to hold a mandatory hearing on a Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) proposal to build a new nuclear station in South Carolina.
NRC informed Duke of the decision July 22. The move was sparked in part by Duke’s decision to relocate the nuclear islands at the proposed William States Lee III Units 1 and 2.
“The decision to relocate the nuclear islands will require rework and affect the staff’s completion of the review,” NRC said in the letter. “In addition, the timing of the [post-Fukushima] seismic analysis submittal creates additional delays.”
Duke Energy Carolinas first applied for the combined construction and operating license (COL) from NRC in late 2007. Since then the power marketplace has changed dramatically due to flatter demand and cheap natural gas energy.
Lee would be located in Cherokee County, N.C.
As for Duke, it has also been looking at taking a stake in Scana’s (NYSE: SCG) V.C. Summer Units 2 and 3 in South Carolina. Duke also said this spring that it was dropping plans for a new nuclear unit at the Harris station in Wake County, N.C.