News Release
March 22, 1999

DUKE POWER NUCLEAR STATIONS PART OF DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY NUCLEAR FUEL PROGRAM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Power officials announced today that two nuclear power plants operated by the company will be involved in a contract awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to assist in the safe disposal of surplus plutonium. The project is part of an international program to preclude the military use of surplus nuclear weapons material in Russia and the United States.

DOE awarded the contract to DUKE COGEMA STONE & WEBSTER (DCS), a consortium led by Duke Engineering & Services, Inc., a business unit of Duke Energy. The consortium is prepared to provide a full scope of the required services including the design, construction management, operation and deactivation of a mixed oxide fuel fabrication facility. Plans call for the mixed oxide fuel to be used at Duke Power’s Catawba and McGuire nuclear stations and at Virginia Power’s North Anna station.

Initial activities will focus on designing the mixed oxide fuel fabrication facility and preparing applications to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the necessary approvals to use the fuel at the reactors. Completion of the project is contingent on other factors, most importantly Russia making similar progress disposing of its own surplus plutonium.

"With almost 30 years of nuclear experience, Duke Power has carefully studied this process and has concluded that the use of mixed oxide fuel will have no adverse effect on the safety or operation of our stations," said Mike Tuckman, Duke Power executive vice president of nuclear generation. "The program will lower fuel costs for our company, further enhancing the cost-efficiency of our operations."

Headquartered in Charlotte, N. C., principal members of the consortium are:

"Our nuclear plants have outstanding safety records and are among the most economically run plants in the country," continued Tuckman. "We’re pleased that we can serve both our country and our customers."

Catawba Nuclear Station is a two-unit power plant located on Lake Wylie, near York, S.C. Each of its units can generate electricity at the rate of 1,129 megawatts. Catawba unit 1 began commercial operation in 1985; unit 2, in 1986. Catawba Nuclear Station is jointly owned by North Carolina Municipal Power Agency No. 1, North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, Piedmont Municipal Power Agency, Saluda River Electric Cooperative Inc. and Duke Power.

McGuire Nuclear Station, owned by Duke Power, is a two-unit power plant located on Lake Norman, near Huntersville, N.C. Each of its units can generate electricity at the rate of 1,100 megawatts. McGuire unit 1 began commercial operation in 1981; unit 2 in 1984.

Duke Power is a business unit of Duke Energy. 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 to approximately two million customers 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: Guynn Savage
Phone: (704) 382-8350
24 Hour Phone: (704) 382-8333
Email: ghsavage@duke-energy.com