Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Materials at the former VC Summer nuclear reactor site could be rotting away. That's according to a letter from a state regulatory agency, who got to tour the site.
Now, the Public Service Commission (PSC) is planning to hear from South Carolina Electric & Gas, to find out what's taken place since construction stopped nearly three months ago. .
A letter to the PSC, the Office of Regulatory Staff explains that during that visit they found evidence that SCE&G was officially abandoning construction. That includes contacting salvage vendors and removing rental equipment from the site.
The ORS also believes SCE&G is allowing equipment to deteriorate, saying "The Turbine building will not be enclosed, and neither the Containment nor the Auxiliary Building for the units will have a protective covering. This approach will leave major components exposed to the elements and falling debris, both of which may accelerate corrosion and contribute to degradation."
During Friday's emergency meeting, the PSC addressed the ORS' request to have SCE&G brief them about the work being done at the nuclear plant.
Friends of the earth director, Tom Clements has been concerned with the project for years, but isn't surprised by what he's hearing.
"They made the termination announcement on July 31 and it was clear at that time that they were abandoning the project," says Clements. "It's only sinking into the politicians that they are abandoning the project. They are already protecting valuable equipment like pumps and valves, but a lot of the other stuff at the site is just scrap. I think that they should sell it off as scrap material, because that is the only value."
Many lawmakers, including the governor, want the project to continue. Perhaps through another company.
An SCE&G spokesman explained that "if the plant is maintained for potential future use, we can't qualify for abandonment."
The abandonment of the site could allow for tax reductions that could benefit their customers.