Duke Energy Corp. - the third largest nuclear power operator in the U.S. - unveiled plans to build a nuclear power reactor in Ohio, its Chief Executive Officer said during a press conference Thursday in Piketon, Ohio.

With the creation of this ... project - the partners in this alliance, the state of Ohio and our country, are edging a little further across the bridge to that future, Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy said, according to Reuters.

The nuclear facility would generate about 1,600 megawatts and create about 4,000 construction jobs. A spokeswoman for Duke Energy told the Associated Press there is not a firm commitment and that instead. The project is just in its formative stage and planning, she said. However, Ohio's governor Ted Strickland and U.S. Sen. George Voinovich backed the initiative.

Duke will be in charge of seeking approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The time is right to put the question of nuclear power squarely on the American energy agenda, Strickland said, according to Cleveland.com. No other source can produce base load energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without any carbon emissions, he commented.

Duke Energy will partner with Areva SA, a French reactor manufacturer, USEC Inc and UniStar Nuclear Energy and the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative to develop this project.

The plant is expected to be completed in ten years and its construction could cost from $6 billion to $10 billion, according to industry estimates.