Santee Cooper, SCE&G Suspend Construction on V.C. Summers Nuclear Reactors

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- Santee Cooper board members voted unanimously to stop working on nuclear experimental units that could have produced clean energy in our area Monday.

“I’m disappointed today not just for Santee Cooper and it’s customers but for our country and the industry as a whole. If you really believe we need to reduce carbon, this was the way to do it,” said President Lonnie Carter.

President Lonnie Carter said the decision was a step back for the company, resulting in Santee Cooper reverting back to coal or natural gas.

Environmentalist Tom Clements has watched the project unfold since its inception back 2008. He said this sad news for our state.

“I can’t celebrate what’s happened today because so much money has been wasted. That money could have been put into alternative energy and solar across our state, but it’s lost now and ratepayers are going to feel the brunt of this,” said Clements.

Some SCE&G customers said they have paid too much money through utility rate increases to fund the project. Carter says Santee Cooper plans to use a $2 million payment from Toshiba to ease the burden of customers. “It is our intent to use the Toshiba settlement again to the extent that we collect, we intend to use that to lower our customers costs. That’s for sure.”

Santee Cooper owns 45 percent of the project. SCE&G owns the other 55 percent. In statement, SCE&G wrote,

“We recognize the impact of this decision on customers, employees, and the communities we serve. SCE&G will be implementing a plan for easing the transition for employees and other parties affiliated with the site work.”

SCE&G is set to brief the state’s Public Service Commission on the decision in a meeting Tuesday morning.

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