Local News

Cost estimate doubles for Shearon Harris expansion

Posted October 17, 2008 1:24 p.m. EDT
Updated October 17, 2008 4:52 p.m. EDT

— Progress Energy released an adjusted estimate Friday for the cost to build two new nuclear reactors at its Wake County facility.

The original license application for the Shearon Harris site put the cost of the project at $4.4 billion. An updated estimate filed with the Nuclear Regluatory Commission shows Progress expects the expansion to cost more than $9.3 billion.

The plant was originally planned to support four nuclear reactors, but only one was built.

A final decision on whether to build the reactors is still years away and will depend not only on public support, but on regulatory approval, predictions of energy demand and economic conditions, Progress officials said.

A new plant could be online as early as 2018 if the Nuclear Regluatory Commission approves.

North Carolina gets 32 percent of its power from five nuclear sites, 20 percent of which is supplied by Shearon Harris. Progress Energy has two other reactors in Brunswick County and Charlotte-based Duke Energy has two reactors in Cornelius, north of Charlotte.

Nationwide, 20 percent of electricity comes from 103 commercial nuclear reactors operating in 31 states.