Cost of South Carolina nuclear power project going up by at least $698 million, SCE&G says

Cost of South Carolina nuclear power project going up by at least $698 million, SCE&G says

A nuclear reactor at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville is shown in this April 2012 file photo.

The cost of adding two reactors to a Midlands nuclear power plant is going up by more than 15 percent.

South Carolina Electric & Gas told state regulators Thursday that its portion of the delayed project is rising by $698 million, bringing its share to about $5.2 billion.

The completion dates for the new units are now June 2019 and June 2020, the Cayce-based utility said Thursday. It previously said it expected to fire up the first reactor by late 2018 or in the first half of 2019, with the second to follow one year later.

SCE&G said $539 million of the cost increase at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station is associated with delays by its construction consortium and other “contested costs.”

Whether customers will have to pay for the overrun has not been determined. SCE&G said talks are underway with the contractors, Westinghouse Electric Co. and Chicago Bridge & Iron.

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SCE&G owns 55 percent of the V.C. Summer station, which is in Jenkinsville. Santee Cooper owns the rest.

Kevin Marsh, CEO of SCE&G owner SCANA Corp, said substantial progress has been made on the project. He added that the company is “not pleased with the delays on the construction schedule for our new nuclear plants.”

Moncks Corner-based Santee Cooper announced the projected cost increases and delays last year, spokesman Mollie Gore said Friday. She said the state-owned utility does “not plan to adjust our budget because of this.”

“But again, these are costs we are reviewing and have not accepted any responsibility for. So it is premature to say how much of it will actually impact our budget, if any,” Gore said in a written statement.

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