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DUKE POWER SCHEDULES OCONEE UNIT 3'S RETURN TO SERVICE

 DUKE POWER SCHEDULES OCONEE UNIT 3'S RETURN TO SERVICE
 SENECA, S.C., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Power Co. (NYSE: DUK)


today said that it expects to return its Oconee Nuclear Station Unit 3 to service by this weekend. The unit was shut down November 23 due to a leak of reactor cooling water.
 Oconee Site Vice President Jim Hampton said that the leak occurred from a fitting that attaches instrument tubing to a larger "tap" line coming from the reactor cooling system. The instrument line is used to measure pressure in the reactor cooling system. An inspection of the instrument line and fitting done by Duke Power and by Babcock and Wilcox, the manufacturer of Oconee's nuclear systems, showed that the tubing worked its way loose from the fitting.
 "Properly secured by the fitting, the tubing doesn't come loose," Hampton said. "However, indications are that the fitting wasn't securely tightened when it was installed three years ago. That left the fitting and tubing vulnerable to the kind of loosening we've apparently had since its was inspected last January," he said.
 "Our investigation of similar fittings on the reactor cooling system in unit 3 convinces us that this is an installation error and not a general problem with the fittings. We have replaced the instrument line and fitting that leaked and are confident that the unit is ready to run safely," Hampton said.
 -0- 12/4/91
 /CONTACT: Bryant Kinney, 704-382-8348 or 704-483-4674 (home); Joe Maher, 704-382-8323 or 704-536-6079 (home), both of Duke Power Company/
 (DUK) CO: Duke Power Company ST: North Carolina, South Carolina IN: UTI SU:


DF -- CH007 -- 9371 12/04/91 16:38 EST
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Date:Dec 4, 1991
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