V.C. Summer Nuclear Plant Abandonment Spells Trouble for Future of Nuclear Power

The V.C. Summer Nuclear Plant in South Carolina, one of the first new Nuclear Power Plant projects in nearly 2 decades, has been abandoned partway through construction. Santee Cooper and SCE&G, partners on the project, decided to cancel the project due to significant budget overruns, the bankruptcy filing of Westinghouse (reactor manufacturer), and the significant change in economics of the power generation industry since the project’s inception.  After receiving bailouts from federal and state governments only a year ago, the nuclear power generation in the United States is stalled and unprofitable.

The Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service was quoted saying:

“Nuclear power is failing despite the fact that it is already heavily subsidized. Canceling the Summer reactors proves that the industry has no future, but it only tells half the story. Nuclear generators are pushing for billions of dollars in subsidies and bailouts for their aging reactors, and those efforts are mostly failing, as well. Hoped-for momentum from 2016 bailouts in New York and Illinois did not materialize, as state legislatures rejected nuclear subsidy bills this year. With renewable energy now surpassing nuclear by widening margins, it’s clear that subsidizing nuclear is an expensive way to slow down the growth of clean, safe, affordable, job-creating energy sources.”


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