Nuclear critics in this state and elsewhere have once again asked federal nuclear regulators to halt the approval process for a next-generation reactor design favored by Duke Energy, Progress Energy and other Southern electric utilities.
If the petition were to succeed, it would severely set back this nation's nuclear revival by disqualifying the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor design that has shown greatest promise to the industry.
Duke and Progress have selected the AP1000 for new reactor construction in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.
The critics, including N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, based in Durham, asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to terminate rulemaking on the AP1000, saying the design is fundamentally flawed and unsafe. They say the review process should not begin until the reactor design is completed.