Two utilities knew of major problems just months into the nuclear expansion at the VC Summer plant but kept quiet about it, according to emails detailed in a new report.
According to the Post and Courier, SCANA’s then-CEO Kevin Marsh explained to Westinghouse in a previously-undisclosed email that his company and partner Santee Cooper had serious worries about the project running over budget as well as design delays that could put pressure on the construction schedule.
Westinghouse officials responded a year later and told SCANA and Santee Cooper that the utilities knew what they got into when they signed on to finance the new reactor designs. The utilities quarreled out of the public’s eye with Westinghouse as electric customers paid more than $2 billion for reactors that may never produce electricity. The dispute was never made public to ratepayers, shareholders or to the state Public Service Commission.
The newspaper reports a 2014 letter from Westinghouse CEO Danny Roderick told the utilities they needed to keep the fight out of the press because it would otherwise have a very negative effect on all involved in the project.
SCANA’s executives had earlier made guarantees to investors that the project wasn’t experiencing any problems.
The documents were obtained by the environmental groups Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club as part of their ongoing legal proceedings against SCE&G.