I would like to help our legislators understand why the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station project in South Carolina failed and why we ratepayers need to stay angry.

From The Post and Courier on Nov. 5: “Westinghouse made 15 percent on every dollar spent for materials. This ended in 2016 when the fixed and final cost plan was implemented.”

From The Post and Courier on Oct. 30: “The average SCE&G customer currently pays $27 per month to cover SCANA’s financing costs and a 10 percent profit for the company’s investors.”

As SCANA’s costs increase so does the dollar amount for their profit. Westinghouse made money based on what they spent for materials and I am sure other costs were passed along. SCANA made money based on their financing costs, in part, based on what Westinghouse spent. This is a perfect storm.

What happens then, according to The Post and Courier, “As Westinghouse veered toward bankruptcy this year, the company ordered another 4,000 nuts. But this time, engineers stepped in and swapped the purchase for the $2.20 alternative. The move saved nearly $450,000. That’s enough money to cover the monthly electric bills of more than 3,000 average SCANA customers.”

Westinghouse was paying $114 apiece for ½-inch nuts when a $2.20 alternative was sturdier. This was one item. The more Westinghouse spent, the more SCANA made. SCANA received 10 percent of its financing costs for the project as profit. Customers essentially pass the money to the stockholders of SCANA.

We now have 90-plus percent of the parts on the ground, purchases that will never be used due to design flaws and roughly 33 percent of the project completed.

The 33 percent took years to complete. From what I understand, with incentives built on what is spent instead of percentage of the project completed and the absence of a completely integrated plan, we ratepayers never had a chance.

Jim Ernst

Branch Creek Trail