Despite spending over $9 billion on a project aimed to promote America’s nuclear power industry, Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric & Gas, of South Carolina, have backing out of the project. As a result, there are two unfinished reactors in Fairfield County. This project has been in the works for nearly a decade, harkening back to 2008. These two utilities pulled the plug after uncertainty about the reactors’ future. The cost of these reactors will eventually total up to $25 billion, going 75% past the original estimate.
The cost of electricity would escalate more than anyone’s seen if this project continued, which is why these two utilities backed out. Though it resulted in a lot of wasted time, money, and energy, it is ultimately a decision executives are happy with and feel it was necessary at the moment.
After a horde of manufacturing failures, design changes, and various delays, the costs were becoming astronomical, causing natural gas prices to plummet and create competition between various plants. Because of mounting costs and fast-approaching deadlines, Santee Cooper & SCE&G would be on their own with this project. Though this is seen as a major blow to the nuclear industry, it is a win for residents who won’t have to pay huge amounts for this project. The reactors will preserved for future construction, if the costs plunge and a financial backer is found.
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