News Release
June 17, 1999

DUKE POWER: Y2K READY AT NUCLEAR PLANTS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Power’s three nuclear plants are Year 2000, or Y2K, ready six months in advance of the official rollover to the new millennium.

In a report filed Wednesday with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the company states it has completed its nuclear Y2K readiness program, addressing systems and devices essential to safe, reliable plant operations. The NRC, which has federal regulatory oversight of the nation’s nuclear power plants, is requiring all U.S. nuclear utilities to confirm no later than July 1 that their units are Y2K ready.

"Since 1996, we have had a solid, aggressive program in place to identify and address Y2K issues that could affect the safe operation of our nuclear plants," Michael S. Tuckman, Duke Power’s executive vice president, nuclear generation, said. "Even though our readiness program is complete, activities during the remaining months of 1999 will include additional testing and drills to verify these efforts. While it is difficult to predict what may occur on January 1, I am confident that our nuclear facilities will continue to generate electricity as safely and reliably in the new millennium as they do today."

Duke Power operates the McGuire Nuclear Station in North Carolina and the Catawba and Oconee nuclear stations in South Carolina. The company’s Y2K readiness program involved identifying components with potential Y2K issues. Assessments were then done to determine if these components were Y2K sensitive and what type of remediation was required. Components were then replaced, repaired or retired, or workarounds were identified. Rigorous testing followed to verify the work.

"Maintaining our good safety record is always a top priority," Tuckman said. "In our analysis, we did not identify Y2K issues that would affect the safe performance of our nuclear power plants."

The NRC recently reviewed Y2K readiness programs at all 103 operating nuclear generating units in the United States to verify the status of each and to determine whether the units will be able to function safely on January 1, 2000. In addition, the NRC conducted special audits of the Y2K contingency plans at six of those plants, including Duke Power’s Oconee station. The audits examined in more detail backup measures the utilities have in place to deal with possible Y2K problems that might affect plant operations. The NRC plans to issue a report on its findings later this summer.

"The audit of Oconee’s Y2K contingency plans indicates that we are in good shape," said Tuckman. "We expect business as usual on January 1. But if we do experience problems, we’ll be ready to respond."

Other areas of Duke Power are on schedule to be Y2K ready by June 30.

Duke Power, a business unit of Duke Energy, is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities and provides safe, reliable, competitively priced electricity to nearly two million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. Duke Power operates three nuclear generating stations, eight coal-fired stations, 31 hydroelectric stations and numerous combustion turbine units. Total system capability is 19,252 megawatts.

Duke Energy (NYSE-DUK) is a global energy company with more than $26 billion in assets. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the company reaches into more than 50 countries, producing energy, transporting energy, marketing energy and providing energy services. In the United States, Duke Energy companies provide electric service in North Carolina and South Carolina;

operate interstate pipelines that deliver natural gas to various regions of the country; and are leading marketers of electricity, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com

Contact: Anne Sheffield
Phone: (704) 382-8063
24 Hour Phone: (704) 382-8333
Email: media_relations@duke-energy.com
Contact: Tom Shiel
Phone: (704) 373-6396
24 Hour Phone: (704) 382-8333
Email: tpshiel@duke-energy.com