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$9 Billion Later, US Abandons 2 Nuclear Facilities Only 40% Complete

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$9 Billion Later, US Abandons 2 Nuclear Facilities Only 40% Complete
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Many people are questioning what role, if any, nuclear power will play in the future of the United States. SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG)'s subsidiary, South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, confirmed Monday it will cease construction of two new nuclear units at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, South Carolina.

Scana will also file a petition with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina and seek the approval for an abandonment plan. The company cited additional costs to complete the project, the uncertainty of production tax credits, the amount of anticipated guaranty settlement payments from Toshiba, and other factors in its decision to cease construction.

Also, the bankruptcy of the company's primary construction contractor, Westinghouse, eliminated any benefit of the fixed-price contract to customers, investors, and other stakeholders, Scana added.

Meanwhile, the two reactors have cost the utilities around $9 billion so far and will remain less than 40 percent built, the New York Times noted. Now that the construction is halted there are just two new nuclear units under construction across the U.S. — both of which are in Georgia.

Unfortunately, nuclear power is considered to be clean energy since it generates no carbon dioxide emissions, the Times added. But at the same time, the costs of building nuclear power plants is large and perhaps undesirable for utilities who can stick with much cheaper natural gas plants or even smaller wind and solar farms.

At time of publication, shares of Scana were up 4.58 percent at $67.33.

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Image Credit: "V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station" By DJSlawSlaw (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted-In: New York Times nuclear powerNews Commodities Events Markets Movers Media Best of Benzinga

 

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