Gov. McMaster speaks about failed nuclear plant during Lowcountry visit

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) — The Office of Regulatory Staff spoke before the Nuclear Plant Review Committee Wednesday about the failed VC Summer nuclear plant. The group claims South Carolina Electric and Gas customers are still paying $37 million a month for the abandoned project.

Just last week, Governor Henry McMaster asked the CEO of SCE&G’s parent company, SCANA, to lower rates and provide customers with a refund.

As that meeting was wrapping up, Count on 2 Investigator Libba Holland spoke with Governor McMaster  during his visit to the Lowcountry. He said he would like to find a way to bring nuclear power to South Carolina.

“We must have plenty of nuclear power in our state and in the country for the future. It’s part of our national security, but also our prosperity,” McMaster said.

He said a nuclear plant is more resilient during a hurricane. With the state’s growing industry and economy, it’s imperative to have reliable power.

“My focus now is to see that the rate payers don’t lose their money and that we have plenty of power,” McMaster said.

The state is in the process of trying to sell Santee Cooper. It, along with SCANA, raised customer rates to pay for the now-failed nuclear plant.

McMaster said a number of big companies are interested in buying Santee Cooper, but not all like the idea of nuclear power.

“Some like solar power or wind power. It’s a great asset, but it’s also a very valuable asset, so we’re not turning it loose unless we get the kind of proposition that we want,” McMaster said.

Even if the deal doesn’t go through, McMaster said he still wants the customers to be compensated.

“Either get the reactors, or get the power, or get their money back,” he said.

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