News Release
July 23, 2001

DUKE POWER NUCLEAR FUEL COSTS LOWEST IN COUNTRY

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Power’s nuclear fuel costs for the three-year period 1998 to 2000 were the lowest in the country, and Duke-operated stations were ranked first, second and third.

Based on information filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Catawba Nuclear Station in York, S.C., had the lowest fuel costs over the three-year period at .423 cents per kilowatt-hour. McGuire Nuclear Station in Huntersville, N.C., was second at .433 cents, and Oconee Nuclear Station in Seneca, S.C., was third at .439 cents.

"This means Duke Power’s management of nuclear fuel costs has saved customers more than $100 million," according to Ken Canady, vice president of nuclear engineering.

Broken down annually, the data shows Duke Power's fuel costs in 2000 were $27.4 million lower than a comparably sized U.S. nuclear system performing at the median of .478 cents per kilowatt-hour. In 1999, Duke Power saved $36.8 million compared to the industry median of .498 cents. In 1998, Duke Power’s fuel costs were $45.7 million lower than the industry median of .521 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Canady attributed the company’s success in keeping fuel costs low to three factors: excellent plant operations, efficient fuel cycle designs and effective fuel contracting.

"Our stations safely and reliably produced more than 56 million megawatt-hours of electricity in 2000, a company record," he said. "This was combined with fuel cycle designs that obtained maximum production from our fuel."

The company also searches worldwide markets to obtain the best prices for fuel. "By being able to take advantage of the international competitive markets for uranium and enrichment services, we are able to get the best prices for our customers," Canady added. Duke Power purchases uranium from several suppliers, including ones in Canada, Australia and the United States. It also purchases enrichment services from companies in Europe and the United States.

Duke Power owns McGuire and Oconee stations. Catawba 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.

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 19,375 megawatts. More information about Duke Power is available on the Internet at: www.dukepower.com.

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 more than $49 billion in 2000. 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: Tom Shiel
Phone: 704/373-6396
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: tpshiel@duke-energy.com