NRC approves COLs for new nuclear reactors at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station

Source: SCANA Corporation, Nuclear Regulatory Commission 

Site of new nuclear reactor construction- V.C. Summer Units 2 & 3  in 2011 Source: SCANASouth Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), principal subsidiary of SCANA Corporation (NYSE:SCG), and Santee Cooper have received approval for combined construction and operating licenses (COLs) from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for two new nuclear units at V. C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, S.C. 

“Receiving approval of our licenses to construct and operate units 2 and 3 at V.C. Summer is a significant event for our company and marks the culmination of an intense review by the NRC," said Kevin Marsh, chairman and CEO of SCANA. "We look forward to building these two new nuclear units to enhance our ability to meet the energy needs of our customers." 

Lonnie Carter, president and CEO of Santee Cooper, said, "These new nuclear units are a critical component of Santee Cooper's long-term plan to diversify our generation mix. Access to reliable and low-cost electricity will be key to job creation and economic development opportunities as we continue rebuilding our state's economy and position South Carolina for the future." 

In a 4-1 vote the Commission found the NRC staff’s review adequate to make the necessary regulatory safety and environmental findings, clearing the way for the NRC’s Office of New Reactors (NRO) to issue the COLs.

The Commission’s findings impose two conditions on the COLs, with the first requiring inspection and testing of squib valves, important components of the new reactors’ passive cooling system. The second requires the development of strategies to respond to extreme natural events resulting in the loss of power at the new reactors. The Commission also directed NRO to issue to SCE&G and Santee Cooper, simultaneously with the COLs, an Order requiring enhanced, reliable spent fuel pool instrumentation, as well as a request for information related to emergency plant staffing.

The COLs will authorize SCE&G and Santee Cooper to build and operate two AP1000 reactors at the Summer site, adjacent to the company’s existing reactor. An NRC construction inspector has been on-site since October 2011, examining SCE&G’s activities to prepare the site.

The NRC certified Westinghouse’s amended AP1000 design in Dec. 2011. The AP1000 is a 1,100 megawatt electric pressurized-water reactor that includes passive safety features that would cool down the reactor after an accident without the need for electricity or human intervention. 

About 1,000 workers are currently engaged in early-site preparation work at the V.C. Summer construction site. The project will peak at about 3,000 construction craft workers over the course of three to four years. The two units, each with a capacity of 1,117 megawatts, will then add 600 to 800 permanent jobs when they start generating electricity. 


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