July 31 (UPI) — Two South Carolina energy companies announced Monday they are scraping plans to build a $14 billion nuclear plant near Columbia.
South Carolina Electric Gas — a subsidiary of SCANA — and Santee Cooper said they will not continue with construction at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station expansion location over fiscal concerns.
“Ultimately, our project co-owner Santee Cooper’s decision to suspend construction made clear that proceeding on our own would not be economically feasible,” said SCANA CEO Kevin Marsh. “Ceasing work on the project was our least desired option, but this is the right thing to do at this time.”
Charlotte Business Journal reported estimates to complete the project have increased to up to $16 billion. The companies already have spent up to $9 billion in taxpayer funds.
The companies said higher than expected construction costs, delays and the bankruptcy of the lead contractor on the project, Westinghouse, have contributed to the ballooning costs, The Hill reported.
Bob Guild, an environmental attorney representing the Sierra Club of South Carolina and S.C. Friends of the Earth, told the Journal he would fight to get back “the ill-gotten gains of SCEG and its shareholders.”
“We will strongly fight any efforts to pass abandonment costs to the rate payers,” he said. “There is going to be lots of bloodletting in the courts.”