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Japan crisis stalls NC nuclear funding bill

Following the nuclear crisis in Japan, North Carolina lawmakers have decided not to vote this year on legislation that would make it easier for Duke Energy and Progress Energy to raise rates to pay for new nuclear reactors.

That means the earliest the N.C. General Assembly could vote on the legal change sought electric utilities would be during next year's legislative session, said Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers during a conference call with analysts on Tuesday.

Duke and Progress have said they need to be able to pass on nuclear costs to customers without full rate hearings in a regulatory proceeding that examines nuclear expenses but doesn't require an audit of the full gamut of company operations.

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