The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency has told Duke Energy a decision on its application to build and operate two nuclear power plants in South Carolina won't be made until 2016, about three years later than planned.
A letter to Duke released by the NRC Wednesday says the delay is caused by federal budget cuts affecting its resources. Another factor is Duke's decision last year to adjust the location of the nuclear sites.
NRC official David Matthews says in the letter that a hearing on the application is set for April 2016. It had been scheduled for last March.
Greenpeace nuclear analyst Jim Riccio says in a separate statement that the delay should make Duke move away from nuclear construction and toward renewable energy sources like wind and solar power
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