News Release
March 22, 1999

Team of Industry Leaders Wins DOE's Plutonium Disposition Contract

Charlotte, N.C. -- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today awarded DUKE COGEMA STONE & WEBSTER (DCS) a $130 million base contract to support DOE's mission to dispose of surplus plutonium. The Moscow Summit between President Clinton and President Yeltsin calls for surplus plutonium to be converted into safe forms that are resistant to reuse in nuclear weapons.

Under the base contract and options, DCS will provide full-scope services including the design, construction management, operation and deactivation of a mixed oxide fuel fabrication facility.

The consortium will also be responsible for obtaining licenses from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate the fuel fabrication facility. In addition, the team will modify six existing U.S. commercial light water reactors at three sites to use mixed oxide fuel assemblies.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., DCS is a consortium of companies formed to advance DOE's mission. Principal members of the team are:

Duke Power and Virginia Power will provide the reactor facilities in which mixed oxide fuel will be used. The reactor sites are Duke Power's Catawba and McGuire nuclear stations and Virginia Power's North Anna. Other team members include Framatome Cogema Fuels and Nuclear Fuel Services.

"We look forward to working with DOE on this historic mission," said Bob Ihde, president and chief executive officer of DUKE COGEMA STONE & WEBSTER. "We are pleased that our experience and capabilities match this national imperative. Our team's collective strengths enable us to deliver to DOE an integrated, design-to-disposition approach. We look forward to serving our country and our customers."

The Team:

The DCS consortium will supply the full scope of services required by DOE, including design, construction and licensing of a mixed oxide fuel fabrication facility; the fabrication of mixed oxide fuel; and the use of that fuel in commercial nuclear reactors.

Duke Engineering & Services (DE&S) is a world leader in nuclear engineering, licensing and environmental services. DE&S serves both governmental and commercial clients and is actively responding to the nuclear industry’s most critical issues, from advanced reactor design and spent fuel management to environmental remediation and decontamination and decommissioning. DE&S currently performs work for 95 percent of U.S. commercial nuclear utilities and at 12 DOE sites. DE&S is an affiliate of Duke Energy Corporation, a global energy company.

COGEMA Inc. has provided total nuclear fuel services to the U.S. nuclear industry since 1982. The COGEMA group provides all products, services and engineering in uranium mining, conversion and enrichment, uranium and mixed oxide fuel fabrication, spent fuel management, nuclear waste storage and transportation and site remediation. COGEMA is an international leader in design, construction and operation of mixed oxide fuel fabrication facilities, and operates two industrial scale mixed oxide fuel plants in France. COGEMA's Belgian partner, BELGONUCLEAIRE, operates a third plant in Belgium and has been a leader in producing mixed oxide fuel for 25 years. These three plants serve the mixed oxide needs of 31 nuclear units and represent the overwhelming majority of the world's mixed oxide fuel production. Also providing support to COGEMA will be Electricite de France, one of the leading electricity operators in the world with extensive experience using mixed oxide fuel.

Stone & Webster is an industry leader in designing plutonium processing, packaging and storage facilities for DOE and is currently engaged in several plutonium related facility projects across the U.S. Stone & Webster has a strong history with first-of-a-kind DOE programs, among them the nation’s first breeder reactor, nuclear fusion experiments and facilities, tritium production reactor, and the vapor laser isotope separation project. Headquartered in Boston, the company is a leading global provider of engineering, procurement, construction and environmental services to the power, process, governmental and industrial markets.

Other consortium members include:

Duke Power, an affiliate of Duke Energy, is noted for its tradition of designing, constructing and operating record-setting nuclear stations. The utility's Oconee, McGuire and Catawba nuclear stations produce more than half of the company’s annual net generation and are rated among the best-managed plants in the country by regulators and industry peers. Duke Power will use mixed-oxide fuel in its McGuire and Catawba nuclear stations.

Virginia Power is the principal subsidiary of Dominion Resources Inc., an international energy company with headquarters in Richmond. Virginia Power is a leader in the nuclear fuel handling services industry and offers management services agreements for operation of other utilities’ nuclear power plants. The utility’s two nuclear power stations have been recognized consistently this decade for high standards of nuclear safety, and are among the lowest-cost producers of nuclear electricity in the United States. Virginia Power will use mixed oxide fuel in its North Anna nuclear station.

Framatome Cogema Fuels (FCF), headquartered in Lynchburg, Va., is a licensed provider of fuel fabrication services to the U.S. commercial nuclear power industry. FCF, a partnership of Framatome and COGEMA, provides custom-designed fuel for pressurized water reactor applications, reactor core components, fuel inspection and repair, and engineering and high-level waste services. Framatome is a world leader in nuclear reactor design and construction, fuel design and fabrication, and engineering and related services.

Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (NFS) has a 40-year history in the manufacture and service of highly enriched uranium and plutonium fuels. NFS brings specific expertise in safeguards, security and decontamination and decommissioning.

Contact: Phillip Carter
Phone: 704-382-3409
24 Hour Phone: 803-548-1956
Email: pcarter@dukeengineering.com