News Release
Jan. 11, 2001


The three nuclear stations operated by Duke Power set new standards in efficiency and reliability in 2000 by generating more electricity than ever before. Duke Power is a business unit of Duke Energy.

The stations – Oconee in Seneca, S.C., Catawba in York, S.C., and McGuire in Huntersville, N.C. – had a combined capacity factor of more than 92 percent in 2000. Capacity factor is the measure of how much electricity is produced, compared with the amount of electricity a unit is capable of producing, within a given time period.

Duke Power operates seven nuclear units (three at Oconee and two each at McGuire and Catawba) that produced 56,739,054 megawatt-hours of electricity in 2000, more than half of the energy used by Duke Power’s 2 million customers.

The company’s best previous year was 1999, when the nuclear stations recorded a capacity factor of just under 90 percent and generated nearly 55 million megawatt-hours of power.

"The nuclear industry in general has been improving significantly over the years, and it is our goal to be at the forefront," said Michael S. Tuckman, executive vice president of nuclear generation. "We are building a winning team of dedicated employees and managers armed with the knowledge, experience and equipment necessary to achieve our goal."

The Oconee capacity factor in 2000 was approximately 92 percent -- the highest in the station’s 27-year history. The highest previous mark was about 91 percent in 1993.

McGuire’s capacity factor last year was almost 96 percent, the second highest in its history. The all-time best year for McGuire was 1998, when the capacity factor was more than 97 percent.

In both years, the station only had one refueling outage. The difference was that the 2000 outage included additional maintenance work and was longer than the one refueling outage in 1998.

Catawba’s 2000 capacity factor was more than 90 percent, second highest in its history. The all-time best year for Catawba was 1999, with a capacity factor of about 91 percent.

Catawba only had one refueling outage in 1999, while 2000 had two refueling outages.

The accomplishments in 2000 were achieved despite having refueling outages at five of the seven units during the course of the year. The two units that did not refuel, McGuire unit 1 and Oconee unit 2, had capacity factors of approximately 103 percent and 101 percent, respectively.

The year 2000 was the first year in which the company broke the 90-percent plateau.

"Not only did we have an excellent capacity factor, our units were at full power during all peak usage periods, ensuring that Duke Power could meet its customers’ demands," said Tuckman.

Oconee Nuclear Station is a three-unit power plant located on Lake Keowee, near Seneca, S.C. Each of its units can generate electricity at the rate of 846 megawatts. Oconee unit 1 began commercial operation in 1973; units 2 and 3 in 1974.

Catawba Nuclear Station is a two-unit power plant located on Lake Wylie in York County, S.C. Each of its units can generate electricity at a rate of 1,129 megawatts. Catawba unit 1 began commercial operation in 1985; unit 2 in 1986. The station is jointly owned by North Carolina Municipal Power Agency Number 1; North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation; Piedmont Municipal Power Agency; Saluda River Electric Cooperative Inc; and Duke Power.

McGuire Nuclear Station is a two-unit power plant located on Lake Norman, near Huntersville, N.C. Each of its units can generate electricity at a rate of 1,100 megawatts. McGuire unit 1 began commercial operation in 1981; unit 2 in 1983.

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 approximately 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 19,290 megawatts. More information about Duke Power is available on the Internet at:

Duke Energy, a diversified multinational 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:

Contact: Tom Shiel
Phone: 704/373-6396
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333