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Feds open inspection into shuttered NC nuke plant

Emery p. Dalesio, AP Business Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Federal regulators are launching a special inspection of a nuclear power plant outside North Carolina's capital city that was forced to shut down last week.

A Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman said Wednesday that two specialists will study what led up to the shutdown after a problem was uncovered using year-old data. They want to know why a flaw inside the nuclear reactor wasn't found until Duke Energy employees took a new look at test results from last year.

Operators at the plant in southern Wake County found a tiny sign of corrosion and cracking that needs repair, which has begun.

Duke Energy representatives did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Wednesday.

Charlotte-based Duke Energy took over the Harris plant after its merger with Raleigh-based Progress Energy last year.