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Duke Takes Nuclear Case to SC

Duke Energy is now headed to South Carolina for permission to spend millions more prepping for a new nuclear plant near Gaffney. The South Carolina Public Service Commission has set a hearing date of May 16 for Duke Energy to make its case. Last week, Duke CEO Jim Rogers made the same request before the North Carolina Public Utilities Commission, while at the same time defending the company's interest in nuclear energy. (See past coverage here). All told, Duke Energy expects to spend nearly a half-billion dollars on engineering and other pre-construction costs for the new nuclear plant by 2013. Power from the new plant would serve customers in North and South Carolina, so Duke Energy wants permission from regulators in both states to keep spending money on plans for the plant. That will allow Duke to recover the costs through rate increases, even if the nuclear plant is never built.