Once Confidential Contract Shows SCANA's Nuclear Cost Overruns

We now have the once confidential documents that shows how the nuclear reactors at VC Summer went over budget.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A contract between SCANA (the parent company of SCE&G), Westinghouse and Santee Cooper spelling out the engineering, procurement and construction of nuclear units a VC Summer in Jenkinsville is now available to the public.

The document, which had previously been confidential, spells out some of the reasons why the project has gone over budget.

"It never should have been confidential," Dukes Scott said.

Scott is the executive director of the Office of Regulatory Staff.

"It was actually Westinghouse. They wanted it confidential because they were negotiating for other nuclear plants," Scott said.

SCANA told the Public Service Commission that it would cost them $6.3 billion to build the reactors. Now the price tag is at $7.7 billion, completion is still three years out and one year behind schedule.

"Things did not go as planned," he said.

The unsealed documents show a wide range of added costs. Changes to wetland boundaries cost $9,583, while simulator hardware, software and training cost about $2 million more than anticipated. And two years ago, SCANA  gave Westinghouse about $137 million to settle disputes with contractors and cover unforeseen costs. SCANA also cannot ask the Public Service Commission for a budget increase to complete project for two more years.

"So no longer we would have issues come in where the labor costs more than it should and schedule delays which cost labor to go up," he said.

But you still may see an increase.

"For example when they invest a dollar, there is a cost for that dollar," said Scott.

Eighteen percent of your bill goes to interest on the capital they raised to start the project. According to Scott ,SCANA will be able to ask for another rate increase this month.

SCANA told News 19 that they complied with the decision to release the documents, but did not want to comment beyond disclosing them. Westinghouse and SCANA have until June 26 to decide whether they will continue with the projects. Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy in March.

 

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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