News Release
December 05, 2003

CATAWBA AND MCGUIRE EARN NRC LICENSE EXTENSION APPROVAL

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Catawba and McGuire nuclear stations are performing today with renewed energy.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved the issuance of renewed operating licenses that will enable the two power plants to produce electricity into the 2040s.

“Duke Power-operated nuclear stations are the workhorses of our diverse energy mix,” said Michael S. Tuckman, executive vice president of nuclear generation. “Their safe, reliable, efficient performance will be vital in providing North Carolina's and South Carolina’s energy needs for decades to come.”

Both McGuire and Catawba are among the most efficient nuclear stations in the country, according to data filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Catawba was ranked number one in lowest production costs in 2002. McGuire was 10th, primarily because it had two refueling outages last year compared to Catawba’s one.

Nuclear provides roughly half of all the electricity used by Duke Energy’s two million customers in the Piedmont area of North Carolina and South Carolina.

Catawba Nuclear Station serves its joint owners -- North Carolina Municipal Power Agency Number 1, North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, Piedmont Municipal Power Agency, Saluda River Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Duke Power.

This successful completion of the license renewal process means all three nuclear stations operated by Duke Power will be licensed to operate well into the 21st century. Oconee Nuclear Station, near Seneca, S.C., was the second nuclear facility in the United States to obtain renewed licenses when it received NRC approval for a 20-year extension in May 2000 which will allow all three nuclear reactors to operate into the 2030s.

“Duke Power has been meeting its customers’ energy needs for 100 years,” Tuckman said. “The actions we take today will ensure we'll be there every time you turn on the lights.”

Catawba Nuclear Station is a two-unit power plant located on Lake Wylie in York County, S.C. Each of its units is capable of generating 1,129 megawatts of electricity. Catawba unit 1 began commercial operation in 1985; unit 2 in 1986.

McGuire Nuclear Station is a two-unit power plant located on Lake Norman, near Cornelius. 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 1984.

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 more than2 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 19,900 megawatts. More information about Duke Power is available on the Internet at: www.dukepower.com.

Duke Energy is a diversified multinational energy company with an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. The company manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses – meeting theenergy needs of customers throughout North America and in key markets around the world. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 500 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: Rose Cummings
Phone: 704/382-6681
24-Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
e-mail: rbcummin@duke-energy.com