News Release
April 08, 2002

DUKE POWER'S MCGUIRE UNIT 2 COMPLETES OUTAGE; INSPECTS REACTOR VESSEL HEAD

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- Duke Power’s McGuire Nuclear Station Unit 2 returned to service March 27, setting a new station record for the shortest refueling outage – 32 days, 6 hours, 40 minutes. During the refueling and maintenance outage, employees also performed a complete inspection of the unit's reactor vessel head.

“Our highest priorities were completing the outage safely and returning a reliable generating unit to service," said Brew Barron, vice president, McGuire nuclear site.

While McGuire was off line for refueling and maintenance, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that corrosion was found on a reactor vessel head at Davis-Besse nuclear station in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

 

Although both McGuire and its sister station, Catawba in York County, S.C., are considered less susceptible to head corrosion and inspections are conducted each refueling outage, Duke Power officials decided to do an additional McGuire reactor vessel head inspection during this outage. This inspection verified the reactor vessel head is corrosion-free.

 

“We made a commitment to the public and our employees to put safe operation above all else,” said Michael S. Tuckman, Duke Energy executive vice president, nuclear generation. “When we learned of the situation at Davis-Besse, we immediately decided to complete the additional inspection prior to restarting McGuire.”

 

Oconee Nuclear Station Unit 1, located near Seneca, S.C., is refueling now, and a complete head inspection is being performed. In the past, traces of boron on Oconee reactor vessel heads indicated small cracks. The cracks were repaired and new heads were ordered. Installation will begin in 2003.

 

Catawba unit 1 is scheduled for a refueling outage later this spring, and the reactor vessel head will be inspected.

 

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 generating capability is approximately 19,300 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 $59 billion in 2001. 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