Westinghouse will not object to unsealing contract for VC Summer nuclear project
Westinghouse Electric is not blocking a request to unseal documents relating to its contract with SCANA and its partners for the construction of the V.C. Summer nuclear plant, according to media reports.
More than 350 people, most of them associated with the South Carolina chapter of AARP, have written letters requesting that the South Carolina Public Service Commission make public the details of the contract with bankrupt Westinghouse.
Westinghouse’s neutral stance on the issues leave it up to the PSC to decide at its upcoming May 24 meeting whether or not to open up the documents to the public.
Westinghouse’s bankruptcy has jeopardized the fate of the only two nuclear plants to begin construction in the United States in about 30 years, SCANA’s Summer plant and the Vogtle reactors being built in Georgia by Southern Co.’s Georgia Power.
Some of the immediate questions that have come up in the wake of the bankruptcy involve $3.7 billion in guarantees that Westinghouse’s corporate parent, Toshiba, has put up for its nuclear unit. Southern is pressing Toshiba, which has its own problems as a result of Westinghouse’s bankruptcy, to make good on that guarantee, worth about $8.3 billion.
The fate of these projects could hang on those issues, especially as both are already severely over budget and behind schedule. If these projects are halted, ratepayers could be on the hook for higher rates paying for uncompleted projects.
The cost of SCANA’s 2,234 MW Summer project is now approaching $16 billion, against an original estimate of about $9 billion and is about two years behind schedule. Earlier this month, Southern and SCANA reached interim agreements with Westinghouse to continue construction on their respective nuclear projects.
SCANA and Santee Cooper, South Carolina's state-owned utility, agreed to an extension of an interim agreement with Westinghouse that will see the contractor continue construction on the V.C. Summer nuclear plant through June 26.
Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power also extended its construction agreement with Westinghouse on the Vogtle nuclear plant, but only until May 12. Both construction agreements were slated to expire at midnight on Friday, and the companies will use the extra time to evaluate if they should take control of construction from Westinghouse.
- The Charlotte Business Journal Westinghouse responds to push to make nuclear contract details public
- The Island Packet PSC to decide fate of secret nuclear contract
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