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New report recommends closure of nuclear power project in South Carolina

Report urges end of nuclear power project in South Carolina, The Eagle, By SEANNA ADCOX Associated Press, Jul 18, 2017 , COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s utility regulators should stop the construction of nuclear reactors already years behind schedule and return billions in cost overruns to consumers, according to a report released by environmentalists Tuesday

The Public Service Commission could save utility customers up to $10 billion by “pulling the plug” on South Carolina Electric & Gas’ two new nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, about 30 miles northwest of Columbia, and ordering at least some prepaid costs refunded, according to the report funded by the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth.

“It’s now time for South Carolina to admit failure,” said the report’s author, Mark Cooper with Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment. “It was a mistake. It was an expensive mistake. It can become a catastrophic mistake if we don’t stop now.”

 The report is being submitted to the Public Service Commission ahead of an October hearing.

SCE&G owns 55 percent of the reactors, while state-owned utility Santee Cooper owns the other 45 percent. Since 2009, SCE&G customers have funded the reactors through a series of rate hikes approved by commissioners. Construction now accounts for 18 percent of residential customers’ electric bills.

The utility’s plans are uncertain. Westinghouse, the contractor building the reactors, filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year. SCE&G’s parent company, SCANA, has said abandoning the project is an option. SCANA CEO Kevin Marsh told commissioners in April that other options include finishing one or both reactors. Roughly one-third of the project is complete, said SCANA executive Steve Byrne.

A company spokeswoman did not respond Tuesday to requests for comment……


July 18, 2017 - Posted by | business and costs, USA

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