Site selection moves forward previously announced plans to develop an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a combined construction and operating license (COL) for two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors.

Under the terms of the agreement, Duke Power would develop and serve as the licensed operator of any generating units built at the Cherokee site, with Southern Company as co-owner. Duke Power is also considering early site permit (ESP) applications for locations in Oconee County, South Carolina, and Davie County in North Carolina, that would enable environmental and site reviews and approval from the NRC to be obtained in advance of requesting a COL.

The Cherokee site COL application is anticipated in late 2007 or early 2008 before the companies decide whether to proceed with plant construction at a later date.

“We identified multiple sites in our service territory as good locations for a possible new station,” said Brew Barron, Duke Power’s chief nuclear officer who added: “Evaluating early site permit applications for Oconee and Davie counties further ensures generation options for our customers well into the future.”