Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Unprotected Commodities, Empty Parking Lots, and Abandoned Steam Generators litter SCE&G’s VC Summer Nuclear Site
Photo Courtesy of High Flyer ©2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Friends of the Earth today publicized new aerial photos of South Carolina Electric & Gas’ abandoned nuclear reactor construction project at the V.C. Summer site in Fairfield County, South Carolina.

“The photos reveal that SCE&G must publicly release its plan about what is happening at the abandoned site, which looks like a nuclear scrap yard,” said Tom Clements, senior adviser with Friends of the Earth.  “As SCE&G is incurring costs due to unknown activities at the site the company is assuming risks for any unauthorized spending taking place at the site,” added Clements.  “The PSC and ORS must demand that SCE&G reveal, in the required quarterly reports, what activities are taking place at the site.”


A host of unidentified commodities lacking protection from the weather can be seen all across the site and in storage yards. It is unknown if these materials will be stored, auctioned for use or sold as scrap.  It is believed that valuable components, such as valves and pumps, are stored in the many tents on the site and that they are being serviced to prevent them from freezing up.


Of note, completed rings of the “shield building,” the ventilated structure that was under construction over the reactors, can be seen abandoned before they were put in place. Lacking shield building roofs, the modules placed in the reactors sit exposed to the weather. Additional, unassembled shield building rings can be seen stacked in the construction site. Such materials, built via new construction techniques and for use only with AP1000 reactors, may have little resale value according to Friends of the Earth.


SCE&G remains silent if the reactors are being abandoned or are being mothballed. In any event, costs now being incurred at the site have not been presented to the South Carolina Public Service Commission for approval and are thus being incurred at the risk of the company.  (See Friends of the Earth letter of October 20 linked below, to PSC and Office of Regulatory Staff.)


Of special note, two steam generators, in plastic wrap, can be seen on the ground near the large modular assembly building. It is unknown if these expensive components, imported via Charleston, SC from South Korea , will be protected and stored or sold as scrap. (See SCE&G video on placement of first steam generator, January 11, 2017and Westinghouse news release on January 12, 2017)


Friends of the Earth wrote to the PSC and the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) on October 20, noting that SCE&G must comply with the requirement of the Baseload Review Act and file its next quarterly construction report.  There has been no release of the report filing requirement by the PSC.  (See Friends of the Earth letter, posted in Docket 2008-196-E, linked here.)


In a new twist in problems facing the failed reactor project, Friends of the Earth filed a complaint on October 20 with the SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR) requesting an investigation into use by Westinghouse of improperly licensed staff to prepare reactor design drawings.  See complaint, also posted in docket 2008-196-E:  https://tinyurl.com/y8tnmysx.


Message on Photos

The photos were taken by High Flyer, an anonymous pilot who for years has provided photos of the AP1000 projects and the plutonium fuel (MOX) project at DOE’s Savannah River Site. High Flyer is the “nom du plume” of a prominent SC resident who wishes to remain anonymous.  Check out High Flyer for more.




High Flyer’s photos of VC Summer site, October 4, 2017


High Flyer’s photos of SCE&G’s nuclear reactor construction debacle were publicized in this September 27, 2017 news release by Friends of the Earth



Photos by High Flyer of SRS MOX Boondoggle, September 18 – SRS Watch news release of October 10, 2017





Friends of the Earth fights to create a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, ensuring the food we eat and products we use are safe and sustainable, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.