Duke Energy CEO: "I'm Betting On Nuclear Energy"

Duke Energy Jim Rogers

In a sign that America’s new energy policy is already taking hold, Duke Energy (DUK) admits it’s basically ready to give up on coal until it gets cleaner.

CEO, Jim Rogers, says the company has two more coal plants to build, then it’s eyeing nuclear power.

Reuters: If Duke Energy had to choose between one technology or the other Rogers said: “I’m betting on nuclear.”

“And I would go a step further and probably say that these two coal plants we build might well be the last two we build until we have a clear picture on CCS,” he told reporters, referring to two planned coal plants.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology involves trapping the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the flue gas of power plants and burying it underground. It is commercially untested and is a “decade to 15 years off,” Rogers said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a May 24-26 meeting of more than 500 business leaders. They will issue on Tuesday a call for governments to set clear long-term climate policies when they meet in Copenhagen in December to try and sign a new global climate pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

Rogers said nuclear posed a smaller waste disposal problem than coal plants, because nuclear waste required a far smaller area to store waste and because CCS requires long-distance transport of carbon dioxide gas.

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