STATUS: In progress with opposition
OPPOSITION: South Carolina Sierra Club; Friends of the Earth; Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS)
BACKGROUND: In late 2005, South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), a subsidiary of SCANA Corporation, and Santee Cooper, a state-owned electric and water utility, notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of their intent to build two new reactors at SCE&G’s V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, South Carolina. The developers submitted a joint application for a combined operating license for the project on March 27, 2008. Each reactor would be a 1,117-megawatt Westinghouse Advanced Passive 1000 (AP1000) Pressurized Water Reactor. The first of the new units will be operating in 2016 and the second by 2019. In public filings, SCE&G estimates that the project will cost $9.8 billion.
The Summer expansion project has faced intervention and legal challenges since it was announced. Friends of the Earth and the South Carolina Sierra Club filed legal challenges at the state level (before the public service commission) and at the federal licensing stage (before the NRC’s Atomic Safety Licensing Board). The challenges, while at times successful, have only provided minor delays to date, as the Summer expansion project has continued to meet the majority of its milestones on time.
In October 2010, several news outlets reported that Santee Cooper was looking to reduce its 45 percent share in the Summer expansion project. If that were to happen, another utility would likely buy Santee Cooper’s share.
SOURCES: NRC (http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/col/summer.html);
The State (http://www.thestate.com/2010/10/05/1498785/summer-nuclear-station-expansion.html;
Charlotte Business Journal (http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/stories/2010/10/11/story8.html?b=1286769600%255E4063181);
South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff (http://www.regulatorystaff.sc.gov/2ndQuarterReportVCSummer.pdf).
Last Updated: November 10, 2010