FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2017
Contact: Sarah Gilliam, SACE, 865-235-1448, [email protected]
Santee Cooper, SCANA pull plug on two nuclear reactors in South Carolina, killing the V.C. Summer nuclear plant expansion project
Columbia, SC – Today the Santee Cooper Board voted unanimously to suspend construction on two new nuclear reactors under construction at the existing V.C. Summer nuclear plant in South Carolina. SCANA announced suspension plans as well. The fate of the mismanaged V.C. Summer nuclear reactor construction project pursued by SCANA’s South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G), 55% owner, and state-owned Santee Cooper, 45% owner is sealed.
The project’s troubles were exacerbated by the financial meltdown of Japan’s Toshiba and subsequent declaration of bankruptcy by Toshiba subsidiary, Westinghouse, the vendor of the AP1000 experimental reactors under construction at the V.C. Summer site. The V.C Summer project – as well as a twin project by Southern Company’s Georgia Power at Plant Vogtle – face billions of dollars in additional cost overruns, schedule delays and technical problems. More than eight years in both projects lack a cost to complete and revised completion schedule with construction only about one-third complete. Anti-consumer state laws in South Carolina and Georgia have unfairly forced ratepayers to bear the financial brunt of the mismanaged projects with more rate hikes proposed.
Statement from Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy:
“We applaud Santee Cooper and SCE&G for making the right decision to protect their customers. This project has been a multi-billion dollar disaster. We also call on Georgia Power and their utility partners to protect their customers from the similarly risky, mismanaged project in Georgia at Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle.”
Tomorrow, nearly four months after SCE&G first briefed the South Carolina Public Service Commission (PSC) on the crisis, the utility will provide a second briefing on the now suspended project: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 10 a.m. EDT. Find information on the briefing here.
Representatives of three key public interest groups attend – Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) along with Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club, the two organizations who filed the original complaint with the PSC that formally requested a hearing on the prudence of decisions concerning construction of new AP1000 nuclear reactors, which resulted in the PSC opening a docket. The groups – involved since the start of the V.C. Summer and Vogtle projects more than a decade ago – have repeatedly warned about the risks of cost overruns and delays and are calling for decision-makers to be held accountable for ignoring warning signs. Find a previous SACE telepresser that outlined group concerns given the bankruptcy filing here.
About Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that work to address the impacts of global climate change and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org.