The future of two nuclear reactor construction projects at the V.C. Summer plant in Fairfield County could be known soon.
Friends of the Earth Senior Adviser Tom Clements told South Carolina Radio Network that an assessment between the plant’s operator South Carolina Electric and Gas and its lead contractor Westinghouse will end June 26.
“We might have some clear idea at that time if the project is to continue or they’ve come to some type of agreement,” he said
Clements said the entire project could be stopped due to Westhinghouse’s bankruptcy proceedings. “It looks like SCE&G is scrambling to come up with terms to continue the project, but they also have abandonment on the table. Which means cancellation of the two units now under construction.” Clements had opposed the project from the beginning, citing its relatively new technology and unknown costs at the time.
Construction is only 37 percent complete and ratepayers have already been put on the hook for more than $8.9 billion to finance and construct the reactors since their construction was approved in 2009. SCE&G has tried to keep pace with cost overruns by rate increases on its customers. However, its late agreement with Westinghouse had required the contractor to eat any additional costs.
The project’s cost is now over $15 billion. It’s at least three years behind schedule and over-budget.
The utility did receive some news in its favor Tuesday. The U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of a tax credit extension which would allow the nuclear company to continue construction after 2021 and still receive financial incentives which would have expired that year. The measure now heads to the Senate.