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V.C. Summer Nuclear Project Disarray – a $9 Billion Nuclear Scrapyard

$9 Billion Nuclear Scrapyard: New Aerial Photos of SCE&G’s Abandoned V.C. Summer Nuclear Project Reveal Disarray

Reactor Building and Components Left Unprotected; Most Cranes Removed, Friends of the Earth, 27 Sept 17  COLUMBIA, S.C. – Newly obtained aerial photographs of the abandoned V.C. Summer nuclear reactor construction site reveal that there is no protection of installed reactor components from the weather. (See notes on original  for links to photos.)

The photos provided to Friends of the Earth are being released in the middle of the political firestorm in South Carolina about the terminated project. It has become clear that South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) and its partner, Santee Cooper, withheld key information for years about the faltering project and were finally forced to simply walk away from on-going construction with no site shut-down plan in place.

The photos of the debacle, on which $9 billion was wasted, confirm that when work was abruptly halted on July 31, no preparation had been made to protect buildings and key components associated with reactor units 2 and 3. One existing reactor, visible in the photos, has operated at the site since 1982.

The photos, taken on September 18, reveal that nuclear reactor modules installed inside the open containment vessels are exposed to the weather. The partially finished ‘shield buildings,’ in which the reactors are located, lack roofs and sit fully exposed to the elements. Construction was only about 37% complete when the work was halted and had been continuing at a snail’s pace.

“Almost two months after the project was halted the V.C. Summer reactor construction site still looks like it was abruptly abandoned with no shut-down plan,” said Tom Clements, senior adviser to Friends of the Earth. “Not only was SCE&G grossly negligent during construction of the project, but the photos of the site reveal that the company also exhibited imprudent behavior in abandoning the project without proper closure plans. The forlorn site looks like a nuclear ghost town best suited for a Hollywood movie set,” added Clements. (Duke Energy’s abandoned nuclear reactor project in Cherokee County, South Carolina, was used as a set for the science fiction film The Abyss in 1989.)

Years of weathering will ravage the unprotected reactor components and partially constructed shield buildings and turbine buildings, according to Friends of the Earth. The turbine buildings, located adjacent to the reactors, sit without roofs and with open walls. A large number of white tent-like temporary buildings are visible and, according to information provided by site workers to Friends of the Earth, protect unused components. The short lifespan of the shelters will necessitate long-term plans if components are to be retained and not sold off.

The photos were taken by High Flyer, an anonymous pilot who for years has provided photos of V.C. Summer. The photos were taken in compliance with regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration and have been provided to Friends of the Earth for distribution in the public interest, including for regulators and law enforcement investigators. The photos can be used with credit to High Flyer (e.g. Courtesy of High Flyer © 2017). SCE&G has not provided photos of the abandoned site………


September 30, 2017 - Posted by | decommission reactor, politics, USA

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