News Release
Sept. 04, 1998


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Duke Power today said two nuclear power plants operated by the company are included in a proposal submitted Sept. 3, 1998, to assist the Department of Energy safely dispose of government-stockpiled plutonium.

The proposal to manufacture and use a blended uranium-plutonium nuclear fuel is in response to the DOE’s May 1998 solicitation. The solicitation addresses the federal government’s commitment to safely dispose of plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons.

"If DOE selects our proposal, we would expect to use this blended fuel at the McGuire and Catawba nuclear stations," said Mike Tuckman, Duke’s executive vice president — nuclear generation. Virginia Power’s North Anna nuclear station is also included in the proposal.

Tuckman noted that the blended fuel — also called "mixed oxide" fuel — has been used safely in Europe since the early 1 970s.

"We have a combined 30 years of safe operating experience at Catawba and McGuire. We can apply that experience to the use of mixed oxide fuel at the stations without the need for significant changes in our operations," he said.

Duke Energy affiliate Duke Engineering & Services is one of the three international companies leading the proposal. COGEMA Inc., an international fuel fabrication company, and Stone & Webster, a global provider of engineering and related services, are the other team leaders for this proposal.

The DOE’s schedule calls for the department to respond to the proposals later this year. Approved power plants are expected to use the blended fuel for a 15-year period beginning in 2007.

"Duke’s participation in the DOE’s plan can both lower Duke’s overall costs and meet our commitment to safe, efficient and cost-effective operation of our nuclear power plants," Tuckman said. "When we have an opportunity to better serve our customers and shareholders and help serve a vital national interest, we feel a responsibility to give it serious consideration."

Duke Power is the electric utility business unit of Duke Energy Corporation. Duke Power serves approximately 2 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina, and operates more than 19,000 megawatts of electric power generation in the Carolinas.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE: DUK) is a global energy company with more than $24 billion in assets. In addition to electric utility service, Duke Energy companies 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 and environmental services. Contact Duke Energy on the World Wide Web at

Contact: Joseph Maher
Phone: (704) 382-8323
24 Hour Phone: (704) 382-8333