News Release
June 08, 1998


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Duke Energy Corporation today filed in federal court a claim against the Department of Energy for damages arising from the department’s delay in accepting commercial spent nuclear fuel.

The lawsuit, filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, asks for damages in excess of $1 billion related to DOE’s failure to meet its contractual obligations to begin accepting used nuclear fuel by Jan. 31, 1998.

"The Nuclear Waste Policy Act is absolutely clear on DOE’s obligation," said Michael S. Tuckman, Duke’s executive vice president — nuclear generation. "The courts have twice underscored what DOE must do. But the department has made no reasonable movement toward meeting its unconditional obligation."

Tuckman said that the dollar amounts are intended to recover costs that Duke is incurring and will continue to incur as a result of DOE’s inaction, such as costs associated with securing additional spent fuel storage capacity.

"This filing is intended to enforce our contractual rights and to help protect the interests of our customers," he said.

The 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act required the nation’s nuclear plant owners to enter into contracts with the Department of Energy for the disposal of spent fuel. The Act and the contracts impose on the owners the obligation to pay fees into the federal Nuclear Waste Fund, and on DOE the reciprocal obligation to begin accepting commercial used nuclear fuel for disposal by Jan. 31, 1998.

To date, utilities have fulfilled each of their contractual obligations, including paying approximately $14 billion into the Nuclear Waste Fund.

Three other utilities also filed similar lawsuits today in the Court of Federal Claims — American Electric Power, Florida Power & Light and Northern States Power.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) is a global energy company with $20 billion in assets. Duke Energy companies provide electric service to approximately 2 million customers; operate pipelines that deliver 12 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States; and are leading marketers of electricity, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Globally the companies develop, own and operate energy facilities and provide engineering, management, operating and environmental services. Contact Duke Energy on the World Wide Web at

Contact: Joe Maher
Phone: 704-382-8323
24 Hour Phone: 704-928-8333