South Carolina Electric & Gas has filed a request to withdraw its license for the ill-fated expansion of its nuclear plant in Fairfield County.
SCE&G made the request with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Thursday. The company’s Combined Operating License allowed it to both build and eventually operate the two future units at V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in Jenkinsville. However, SCE&G and its partner Santee Cooper abandoned construction in July after lead contractor Westinghouse’s bankruptcy amid rising costs and worsening delays.
The request had been expected, as SCE&G’s parent company SCANA Corporation hopes to write off the shuttered project on its taxes. But that requires the company to indicate it has completely terminated work and give up its licenses.
SCE&G had waited until the final week of the year in the unlikely case another utility decided to purchase the unfinished reactors with a goal of restarting the project. Any interested buyer would also need the combined operating license to continue work, or else take on the years of review necessary to apply for a new one.
In new filings with the state Public Service Commission, which would need to approve any sale worth more than $1 million, SCE&G said it was approached by Georgia Power about selling off some of its components at the V.C. Summer site. Georgia Power is moving forward with work at its future Vogtle reactor, despite running into many of the same issues as SCE&G and Santee Cooper.
“Our procurement team is in discussion with the owners of the V.C. Summer project regarding purchasing materials from the site that could be used for the Vogtle project,” Georgia Power spokeswoman Holly Crawford said in an email. “However, we have not announced plans to purchase any specific materials and it should be noted that much of the material is tied up in both the Westinghouse bankruptcy litigation and in abandonment proceedings with state regulatory agencies.”
SCE&G said it will make a decision by this weekend.