December 13, 2007 / 7:59 PM / in 12 years

UPDATE 1-Duke Energy files to build new nuclear power plant

(Adds background on previous applications)

NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Duke Energy Corp (DUK.N) said on Thursday it filed with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build a two-unit nuclear power plant in Cherokee County, South Carolina.

The request is the fourth combined construction and operating license application submission by a U.S. company for new nuclear generating units to the regulator, Duke said, but the first to request permits for an entirely new plant.

NRG Energy Inc (NRG.N), Dominion Resources Inc (D.N) and a consortium of utilities called NuStart have all sought to build new units at existing nuclear stations.

No new applications for new nuclear plants had have been filed since 1977, and several planned plants were canceled after the 1979 Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania that sparked a backlash against the technology.

Duke’s application requests permission to build two units with a combined power generating capacity of 2,234 megawatts.

Duke had said in 2005 it planned to seek to build a new nuclear plant.

The NRC has said it expects to receive 30 applications for new nuclear units as power producers seek to boost electricity generation from sources that do not emit carbon dioxide.

Reporting by Matt Daily, editing by Leslie Gevirtz

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