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William States Lee III Nuclear Station, Cherokee Falls, South Carolina

STATUS:  In progress with opposition

TYPE: Nuclear

OPPOSITION:  Greenpeace USA Raleigh; Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League; N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network

PROSPECTS:  Indeterminate

BACKGROUND:  On December 13, 2007, Duke Energy submitted a combined construction and operating license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a proposed two-unit nuclear power plant in Cherokee Falls, North Carolina.  The plant would generate 2,234 megawatts of electricity from two Westinghouse Advanced Passive 1000 (AP1000) Pressurized Water Reactors.  NRC approved and docketed the application in February 2008; by mid-2010, the proposal was still near the beginning of the process. NRC expects safety reviews to be complete by February 2011, and environmental reviews by August 2012. 

In June 2008, Greenpeace USA Raleigh and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) intervened in the NRC proceeding and challenged the adequacy of Duke Energy’s application.  BREDL filed new additional contentions to the intervention petition in March 2009.  The permitting of this facility is expected to last several more years, at least.  Duke originally targeted 2016 as the completion date, but NRC expects Duke to push this back.

Duke’s original cost estimate for the plant was $4-6 billion.  In December 2008, Duke revised its estimate to $11 billion.  Duke estimates that construction jobs could peak at over 3,000, and the plant would employ 800 to 1,000 full-time permanent employees once operational.

SOURCES: NRC (http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/col/lee.html);
Duke Energy (http://www.duke-energy.com/news/releases/2008022701.asp; http://www.duke-energy.com/pdfs/Lee_Nuclear-fact-sheet.pdf);
BREDL (http://www.bredl.org/nuclear/WSLee.htm);
World Nuclear News (http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Duke_raises_cost_estimate_for_Lee_plant-0711084.html);
Charlotte Business Journal (http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/stories/2008/03/10/story7.html). 

Last Updated:  November 10, 2010