Bellews Creek, NC – In 1974 the Bellews Creek Steam Station became the largest coal-fired power plant in North Carolina.

With a renewed focus on reducing carbon emissions, duke energy Now turning to nuclear technology.

Bill Norton, a spokesman for Duke Energy, said, “It’s the backbone of the energy we provide. In fact, it already provides Carolina with more than 80% of its carbon-free energy supply.”

The new advanced nuclear technology will be the first of its kind in the Carolinas.

Norton said, “It’s more efficient, uses less land, and that’s why Bellews Creek was the ideal location for it. It had ample land, there was a water supply, the infrastructure was already there.”

Norton says that in addition to the proposed nuclear technology, other energy sources could be used at the site.

Solar power and battery storage can also be used, but they are not strong enough on their own, to generate the energy needed for the number of homes served by Bellews Creek Steam Station.

“Nuclear energy is, in one word, the cleanest energy that man has ever invented,” said Dr. Ashot Gasparyan, chair of the physics department at North Carolina A&T.

He says that one concern of many people is the radioactive waste produced by nuclear reactors.

Dr. Gasparian says there are ways to reduce or eliminate the hazards by safely disposing of the waste or recycling it.

“Radioactive secondary elements, we can bombard them with certain rays so they’re not radioactive, and we can store them in any number of places,” Dr. Gasparyan said.

Nuclear technology is only a proposal at this point.

Duke Energy will still need approval from state and federal regulators before work can begin.

“It’s going to be a decades-long process, nothing is fixed, we have to take a lot of steps to make sure it’s done the right way,” Norton said.

Other works are currently underway at the Bellews Creek site.

Crews are moving tons of coal ash to a new landfill that will help protect water supplies in the area.

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