pc-061117-ne-nuclear (copy)

An aerial view of the V.C. Summer construction site in Jenkinsville, where two nuclear reactors were abandoned by by Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric & Gas. An internal analysis by Westinghouse, the project's primary contractor, showed the company wasn't prepared to built four new nuclear reactors in South Carolina and neighboring Georgia. Provided/SCE&G 

The Post and Courier today published a confidential report that warned six years ago that Westinghouse Electric wasn't prepared to build four new nuclear reactors in Georgia and South Carolina. 

The internal document highlighted Westinghouse's failure to use licensed engineers to design the reactors at V.C. Summer station in South Carolina and Plant Vogtle near Augusta, Georgia.

First described in a story by The Post and Courier in September, the document adds important context to the high-stakes decision about the fate of the $12.7 billion Vogtle expansion. Georgia regulators recently called for that project's cancellation.

A Westinghouse engineer drafted the report in 2011. He predicted massive budget overruns and significant problems with the nuclear projects' construction designs. But the analysis was reportedly ignored by Westinghouse's senior leadership, according to a former Westinghouse employee in Pittsburgh. 

The critical report has not been released to the public to this point, but officials with Georgia Power, the majority owner of the reactors at Vogtle, obtained a copy more than two years ago through litigation with Westinghouse. The same document was obtained by Georgia's utility staff last month, but was hidden from public view. Georgia Power has claimed the document as proprietary information. 

On Sunday, The Post and Courier will discuss this analysis and how it fits into larger trends in "Power Failure," a deep dive into how states across the country changed the rules to shift the costs of power plant projects from utilities to us, their customers.

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Reach Andrew Brown at 843-708-1830 or follow him on Twitter @andy_ed_brown.