Utility board delays action on nuclear project

South Carolina’s state-owned utility has voted to delay a decision on if it will scrap a $14 billion nuclear expansion project dogged by criticism for its costs to the state’s customers.

The deadline for taking action on two new nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station was Monday. But outlets report Santee Cooper’s board extended a study on the project’s future to Aug. 10.

The project was plunged into doubt when chief designer and contractor Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy in March. Santee Cooper and partner South Carolina Electric & Gas have been examining whether to continue the project, which is about one-third complete and approaching $3 billion over budget.

To finance the effort, SCE&G ratepayers have been hit with nine power bill increases. Santee Cooper customers have experienced five.

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