Duke Energy Corp. will seek to relicense all 11 of its reactors at six nuclear plants in the Carolinas, starting with an application to extend the life of the three-unit Oconee Nuclear Station in 2021.
Renewing those operating licenses will extend the life of each reactor by 20 years.
The announcement is important but not surprising. Duke (NYSE: DUK) executives have made it clear for several years now that such a move was likely for at least some of its plants. And Tuesday, the Charlotte-based company announced plans to get to “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050.
In order to keep that goal in reach, the company says it would need to maintain the nearly 11,000 megawatts of carbon-free nuclear capacity it currently operates.
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