Local News

Duke suspends plans for Shearon Harris expansion

Posted May 3, 2013

Progress Energy invited the media to tour the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant near New Hill in Wake County on May 18, 2011. Pool photo.

— Citing slow growth and a lack of need, Duke Energy notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Thursday that it is suspending its application to build new reactors at the Shearon Harris nuclear plant in southern Wake County. 

Originally submitted in February 2008 by Progress Energy, the reactors had been scheduled to be up and running by 2018. 

"The Harris site is well-suited for new nuclear generation and has not been eliminated from our long-term consideration as a site to expand our nuclear feet," Duke Energy Executive Vice President Dhiaa Jamil said in a statement.

Jamil said the company made the decision after determining that it would be able to meet customer need in the area without new reactors. 

"Our most recent forecast indicated two additional nuclear units at Harris will not be needed in the next 15 years," he said. 

Duke Energy opened gas combined-cycle plants in Rockingham, Wayne and Cleveland counties late in 2012, and another combined-cycle plant will come online later this year.

NC WARN, a watchdog group that is a frequent critic of Duke and Progress, welcomed the announcement but scolded the utility for wasting millions of dollars that could have been spent on energy-saving programs.

"The Shearon Harris failure perfectly typifies why the U.S. nuclear 'renaissance' is making global warming worse," Executive Director Jim Warren said in a statement.


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  • veyor May 3, 2013

    And the firing of the Progress CEO because he wasn't "green" enough continues to be evident.

  • Teacher-Scientist May 3, 2013

    Excellent story, by the way, and overall encouraging news (even after reading all the negative, pessimistic comments.

    What I found irritating is the complaining of the watch-dog organization (mentioned in the story), as well as many of my fellow site-users, that Duke was still stupid, inept, etc. for not doing more or better. I am glad they did what they did! Hopefully, the trend in green technology will continue.

  • djofraleigh May 3, 2013

    There's no place to store the nuclear waste anyway despite promises. The site is awash in nuclear waste.

  • tomcat27557 May 3, 2013

    we be greener than they thought.

    the greener we get the $$greener$$ they get!

  • WralCensorsAreBias May 3, 2013

    Awesome. They actually now admit we won't have a population that needs that much power for at least 15 years.

    Which in reality means 25 years.

    NC Policy Watch is celebrating tonight!

  • 5NewsLuvr May 3, 2013

    Whether we like it or not, we have got to come out of the stone age and explore more modern fuel sources, such as solar and wind energy. I bet the people that are complaining about the cost of electricity are the same ones that opposed the building of a wind farm in the mountains because it would 'ruin the pristine views'.

  • WooHoo2You May 3, 2013

    Shoot the waste to the sun or bury it deep in our moon or another planet.- unknownreality4781

    For every one pound of weight on a vehicle capable of leaving the earth's orbit requires FOUR pounds of fuel…and ‘rocket fuel’ ain’t cheap.

  • ConservativeVoter May 3, 2013

    This should makes the NIMBY's happy.

  • 68_dodge_polara May 3, 2013

    "None of this has ANYTHIng to do w/the story."

    It just irritates me that Duke is offering $50 for old refrigerators that run off one 110 while installing 240 volt charging stations for much less than the materials alone costs for electric vehicles after all the other tax breaks these owners receive. Don't tell me that the fifty bucks and the charging stations aren't coming from our tax dollars (really just being added to our federal debt) some how as well.

  • uscnnc May 3, 2013

    Solar is the way to go.....now if someone would just help me pay for my solar panels.

    Pay for them yourself, then write it off on your taxes.