Nuclear Power

The Brunswick Nuclear Plant was ranked one of the most vulnerable nuclear reactors to a terrorist attack.
Doc Searls via Wikimedia

A new study commissioned by the Defense Department says every nuclear reactor in America is ill-prepared for a terrorist attack. North Carolina's Brunswick Nuclear Plant was ranked among the most vulnerable to attack, because of it's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.

Kim Crawford is a spokesperson for Duke Energy, which manages four nuclear sites in North Carolina, including Brunswick. She says their plants are safe.

The Shearon Harris nuclear power plant
Nuclear Regulatory Commission / nrc.gov

Federal regulators are investigating the Shearon Harris nuclear plant near Raleigh. They want to know how a flaw in the reactor vessel went undetected or unreported for over a year. News & Observer reporter John Murawski fills in host Frank Stasio on the latest.

The Shearon Harris nuclear power plant
Nuclear Regulatory Commission / nrc.gov

An annual public meeting about the Shearon Harris nuclear power plant will likely raise questions about the recent decision to shut down the reactor. 

Duke Energy officials have decided to retire a controversial nuclear facility in Florida.  They say it will be more cost effective to shut down the Crystal River facility than to repair it.  Regulatory leaders in North Carolina and Florida discussed Crystal River's future during the merger of Duke Energy and  Progress Energy.  Spokesman Mike Hughes says the utility used a repair scenario analysis to make the decision.

Duke Energy may have to pay billions of dollars to repair the Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida.

A Charlotte engineering firm says the cost to fix a cracking outer-concrete layer of the containment unit could reach 3-point-4 billion dollars. Utility spokesman Mike Hughes says that's a worst-case scenario.

Mike Hughes: "Including having to do additional repair work that is not part of the planned repair scope."

A Durham-based environmental group warns utility companies are trying to add nuclear capacity without significantly reducing their use of coal power. A report from NC WARN focuses on what they call the "Southeast Five." That includes both Duke Energy and Progress Energy. Jim Warren is executive director of NC WARN.

Environmental groups are urging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reconsider approval of a new design for nuclear power plants in North and South Carolina. The AP-1000 Oversight Group filed a petition with the NRC. The group argues that the AP-1000 reactor design is flawed and should not be used at Shearon-Harris and other sites. John Runkle is the attorney for the group. 

Duke Energy

Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers says his company will continue to pursue building new nuclear plants in the Carolinas. Rogers spoke yesterday during a hearing of the North Carolina Utilities commission. Rogers was discussing the development of the Lee Nuclear Station in South Carolina. Duke is asking to spend $285 million to continue to develop the plant. Some of the money will likely come from a rate increase on North Carolina customers.