Two nuclear reactors currently under construction in Fairfield County may end up being delayed for up to a year.
The parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas confirmed that the two reactors being built at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville could be delayed by up to a year because some of the necessary “submodules” will not be constructed and delivered in time.
SCANA’s Chief Operating Officer Steve Byrne spoke about the delays during a meeting with investors Wednesday. He said the issues are at a Chicago Bridge & Iron plant located in Lake Charles, Louisiana that is building the reactor submodules. Those submodules will eventually be assembled at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station.
“They have had a number of problems at this CB&I Lake Charles facility,” he said. “The consortium is working very hard to rectify the problems. We think that they’re on a success path, but we certainly want to see an improved trend.”
CB&I acquired the Lake Charles facility last February when it purchased Shaw Group. The Texas-based company is partnering with Westinghouse to build the new reactors on behalf of SCE&G. However, Byrne said the consortium was having start-up and “documentation” issues. He did not elaborate.
SCANA spokeswoman Rhonda O’Banion told South Carolina Radio Network that the delay could cause the project to finish up to a year behind its original schedule. Originally, the first new reactor at Summer was scheduled to go online in March 2017. Now that completion time is projected to fall between late 2017-early 2018. SCANA officials hope the other reactor will be complete by the end of 2019.
Byrne said the project is still projected to come in under budget even with the delays. The latest projected cost for the project — including financing and expected escalation — was roughly $10.6 billion, down from an initial estimate of $11.5 billion. Byrne said that was largely due to lower-than-expected financing.