CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — An environmental review of Duke Energy's plans to build two nuclear reactors in Cherokee County, S.C., recommends federal approval of the project.

The Charlotte Observer reported (http://bit.ly/K8SdvY) the study suggests approval for both construction and an operating license for the Lee nuclear station near Gaffney, S.C.

Federal regulators are unlikely to make a decision before 2016. The Charlotte utility is unlikely to commit to the plant before then. That would mean electricity production would not start before 2024.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission study concluded that most environmental impacts of the two-reactor nuclear plant would be small. .

The study says the plant would take about 4 percent of the Broad River's average volume to cool the plant.

Duke has spent nearly $350 million on pre-construction costs.

___

Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com