McGuire Nuclear Station

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McGuire Nuclear Station
McGuire Nuclear Station from lake Norman.jpg
McGuire Nuclear Station from Lake Norman
McGuire Nuclear Station is located in North Carolina
McGuire Nuclear Station
Location of McGuire Nuclear Station
Country United States
Location Mecklenburg County, near Huntersville, North Carolina
Coordinates 35°25′57″N 80°56′54″W / 35.43250°N 80.94833°W / 35.43250; -80.94833Coordinates: 35°25′57″N 80°56′54″W / 35.43250°N 80.94833°W / 35.43250; -80.94833
Status Operational
Commission date Unit 1: December 1, 1981
Unit 2: March 1, 1984
Owner(s) Duke Energy Corporation
Operator(s) Duke Power Company
Nuclear power station
Reactor type pressurized water reactor
Reactor supplier Westinghouse
Power generation
Units operational 2 x 1100 MW
Annual generation 17,620 GWh

The McGuire Nuclear Station is a nuclear power plant located about 17 miles (27 km) northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina, on the state's largest lake, Lake Norman. It is a 32,500-acre (13,200 ha) lake created in 1963 by Duke Power for the Cowans Ford Hydroelectric Station. The McGuire units use the lake's water for cooling.

This plant has two Westinghouse pressurized water reactors and has a capability to produce 2,200 megawatts of power, with a net generation of 17,514 GW·h in 2005. This represents 44% of the total nuclear power generation for the state of North Carolina.[1]


McGuire Nuclear Station is operated by Duke Power Company and owned by the Duke Energy Corporation. It is named for William McGuire, who served as president of Duke Power from 1959 to 1971.[2]


The original operating licenses' expiration dates were 2021-06-12 for Unit 1 and 2023-03-03 for Unit 2. In 2003, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) renewed the licenses for both reactors for an additional twenty years.[3]

Surrounding population[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.[4]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of McGuire was 199,869, an increase of 66.8 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 2,850,782, an increase of 23.3 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Charlotte (17 miles to city center).[5]

Seismic risk[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at McGuire was 1 in 32,258, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.[6][7]


External links[edit]