News Release
May 23, 2000

DUKE POWER'S OCONEE NUCLEAR STATION LICENSE RENEWED

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) today announced it has renewed the operating license held by Duke Energy for Duke Power’s three Oconee Nuclear Station units through 2033-2034.

"Duke Power took a leadership role in the nuclear industry when it began operating Oconee 27 years ago and continues to show its leadership by making Oconee one of the first stations in the country to renew its licenses," said Mike Tuckman, Duke Power executive vice president, nuclear generation. "As society’s dependence on electrical energy continues to grow, we are glad that Oconee Nuclear Station will be part of the supply. Twenty years of additional life for this station will serve our region very well."

Oconee has generated in excess of 425 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity so far, more than any other U.S. nuclear station.

"By maintaining extensive inspection, maintenance and equipment replacement programs, we are confident that the station will operate safely and reliably well into the 21st century," said Tuckman.

Oconee Nuclear Station is a three-unit power plant located on Lake Keowee, in Seneca, S.C. Each of its units can generate electricity at the rate of 846 megawatts. The NRC granted the original 40-year operating license for Oconee 1 in 1973 and Oconee 2 and 3 in 1974.

Duke Power filed its license renewal application with the NRC in July 1998. It included literally thousands of pages documenting various data about plant equipment, systems maintenance and component replacement programs. The NRC reviewed the application, the station’s performance and other plant characteristics to ensure the units could continue operating safely for an additional 20 years.

"The NRC’s review process was comprehensive and thorough. The agency is to be commended not only for its diligence in ensuring public safety, but also for the discipline it applied to maintaining the schedule during this entire two-year process," Tuckman said. "We appreciate both."

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, a diversified multi-national energy company, creates value for customers and shareholders through an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. Duke Energy manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses -- generating revenues of nearly $22 billion in 1999. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 100 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More 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: ksuave@duke-energy.com