Two utilities attempting to build new nuclear reactors in the Midlands have reached a $2.2 billion settlement with a Japanese company which owned the lead contractor designing and building those reactors.
Toshiba Corporation agreed to split the payment between South Carolina Electric & Gas and state-owned utility Santee Cooper after its subsidiary Westinghouse left the project due to bankruptcy. The settlement was announced after the Santee Cooper board voted to accept it Thursday. It will be paid out in increments between October and the third quarter of 2022.
SCE&G and Santee Cooper are partnering to build the two new reactors at the V.C. Summer site in Fairfield County. SCE&G has 55 percent ownership in the project, while Santee Cooper has 45 percent. The settlement partially defrays the cost in lost work on the two reactors, but would not be nearly enough to cover expected cost of finishing both reactors.
Adding to the project’s risks are that it would now be finished after the 2021 deadline for federal nuclear tax credits, meaning the utilities would be unable to recoup their costs unless Congress votes to extend the credits.
Both utilities are trying to decide whether to proceed with both reactors, only finish one of the two or abandon both projects entirely.
“We are committed to making a financially responsible decision for our customers and other stakeholders,” SCANA Chairman and CEO Kevin Marsh said in a joint statement or both utilities. “We are close to completing our analysis of the various options to determine the most prudent path forward.
Environmental groups have called on the utilities to abandon the project entirely for cost and other reasons. Ratepayers have already