62-110.7.  Project development cost review for a nuclear facility.

(a)        For purposes of this section, "project development costs" mean all capital costs associated with a potential nuclear electric generating facility incurred before (i) issuance of a certificate under G.S. 62-110.1 for a facility located in North Carolina or (ii) issuance of a certificate by the host state for an out-of-state facility to serve North Carolina retail customers, including, without limitation, the costs of evaluation, design, engineering, environmental analysis and permitting, early site permitting, combined operating license permitting, initial site preparation costs, and allowance for funds used during construction associated with such costs.

(b)        At any time prior to the filing of an application for a certificate to construct a potential nuclear electric generating facility, either under G.S. 62-110.1 or in another state for a facility to serve North Carolina retail customers, a public utility may request that the Commission review the public utility's decision to incur project development costs. The public utility shall include with its request such information and documentation as is necessary to support approval of the decision to incur proposed project development costs. The Commission shall hold a hearing regarding the request. The Commission shall issue an order within 180 days after the public utility files its request. The Commission shall approve the public utility's decision to incur project development costs if the public utility demonstrates by a preponderance of evidence that the decision to incur project development costs is reasonable and prudent; provided, however, the Commission shall not rule on the reasonableness or prudence of specific project development activities or recoverability of specific items of cost.

(c)        All reasonable and prudent project development costs, as determined by the Commission, incurred for the potential nuclear electric generating facility shall be included in the public utility's rate base and shall be fully recoverable through rates in a general rate case proceeding pursuant to G.S. 62-133.

(d)       If the public utility is allowed to cancel the project, the Commission shall permit the public utility to recover all reasonable and prudently incurred project development costs in a general rate case proceeding pursuant to G.S. 62-133 amortized over a period equal to the period during which the costs were incurred, or five years, whichever is greater. (2007-397, s. 7.)