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What now for South Carolina, having wasted $9 Billion on Nuclear Reactors that will never work

South Carolina Spent $9 Billion on Nuclear Reactors That Will Never Run. Now What? The legislature must decide whether residents will keep being charged, possibly for decades, for the failed project. Governing. BY ALAN GREENBLATT JANUARY 2018 It has to be one of the greatest wastes of money in any state’s history. Last summer, two utility companies halted construction on nuclear reactors in South Carolina. They had already sunk more than $9 billion into the project, which will never be completed or generate a kilowatt of power. The state is now trying to figure out who’s to blame, and who will pay.

The story started a dozen years ago. Back in 2006, South Carolina, along with several other states, passed legislation to try to jumpstart the moribund nuclear construction industry………

Customers have already been billed some $2 billion for the reactors. Under current regulations, the utilities continue to collect $37 million per month. That means the average ratepayer is paying an additional $250 per year, or 18 percent of the bill. This could go on for 60 years. “You will literally have your children and grandchildren pay for this mistake,” says Bursey.

Some legislators have argued that consumers shouldn’t be on the hook for the billions already charged. But it may not be legally possible to recover the money. It may not even be feasible. The utilities don’t have the cash to give back, even if they wanted to. “That would be the fair thing, but it’s not realistic,” Massey says.

Instead, the fight in the legislature this year will be about whether to curtail additional payments going forward. Needless to say, the utilities are opposed to that idea. They insist they must collect the money, or they won’t be able to continue operating or have access to capital. They aren’t sympathetic actors, but Santee Cooper is state-owned so legislators will have to take its concerns seriously…..http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-south-carolina-nuclear-reactors.html

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December 29, 2017 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA

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