More to VC Summer than abandoned nuclear project

Reality Check

News of a full-scale nuclear disaster exercise at VC Summer may have you scratching your head. If you are wondering why in the world the state would prepare for a disaster in a place commonly known for the nuclear plant that will never be, you wouldn’t be alone.

For many, VC Summer refers solely to the failed nuclear project, but the site is home to a fully functioning nuclear facility that has been providing power for more than three decades.

In fact, the failed project would have provided two more reactors for the VC Summer site.

According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division website, “South Carolina has four nuclear power facilities and two closely located in neighboring states. All South Carolina counties, except for five coastal counties (Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, and Georgetown) fall within the 10 or 50-mile emergency planning zones of at least one nuclear power plant.”

The disaster drills are done every other year, in accordance with federal regulations.

“The nuclear utilities are required to fund the state’s offsite nuclear power safety program by federal regulation,” said Derrec Becker with SCEMD. “It doesn’t cost the taxpayers a dime.” 

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