Jul 31, 2017

Major nuclear power project halted in South Carolina

Jeffrey Collins / AP

South Carolina Electric & Gas and Santee Cooper, a state-owned power provider, announced Monday that they are pausing all construction work on two partially-completed nuclear reactors in the Midlands, effective immediately, which could cost the state nearly $9 billion, per The Post and Courier.

  • Santee Cooper executives said they plan to preserve what has been built so far, and will look for potential buyers to take over the remainder of the $14 billion project. CEO Lonnie Carter said the work is now estimated to cost roughly 75 percent more than the company originally anticipated.
  • Why it matters: The decision is a mortal wound to years-long industry hopes of a U.S. nuclear "renaissance" that would see a wave a new reactors built for the first time in decades. It also comes amid uncertainty over the fate of two reactors that power giant Southern Company is building in Georgia.
  • Go deeper: Axios' Amy Harder on America's nuclear failure.
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