Duke Energy Abandons Reactor Projects in the US as EDF Exits
On 2 August 2013, Duke Energy, the largest utility in the U.S., announced it was shelving plans to build two reactors at the Levy site in Florida, despite having spent $1 billion on preparatory works. The utility has blamed the slow licensing process; however, the decision appears rather being a result of a larger trend for Duke Energy and nuclear power in general in the United States. In the last few months Duke Energy has abandoned plans for the construction of two reactors at the Shearon Harris plant in North Carolina (see Duke Energy Cancels Shearon Harris Project in North Carolina) and has slowed the development of two additional units at the Lee plant in South Carolina. While in February Duke Energy closed it’s the Crystal River reactor in Florida. (see Crystal River Reactor Shut Down for Good). On 30 July 2013, the world’s biggest producer of nuclear power, the French state utility Electricité de France (EDF), announced that it was pulling out of its nuclear investment in the United States. EDF has agreed with its partner Exelon on an exit from their Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG) joint venture, which operates five nuclear plants in the United States with a total capacity of 3.9 gigawatts. EDF Chief Executive Henri Proglio told a news conference on 30 July 2013 in Paris that the low price of gas was the driving force for this decision. “This was the last and final chapter of our U.S. nuclear investment”, EDF finance chief Thomas Piquemal added. Proglio said that EDF would now focus on renewable energy in the U.S.