Utilities warned 1+ year before nuke plant flop

FILE - This April 9, 2012 file photo shows the working nuclear reactor at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, S.C. South Carolina Electric & Gas and Santee Cooper are building two new reactors on the site. More than half the power in South Carolina is generated by nuclear plants. (AP Photo/Jeffery Collins, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Utility companies were warned more than a year ago that a South Carolina nuclear reactor project was doomed, yet failed to heed warnings that could have saved the venture.

That’s according to a report by a major project management company obtained Sunday by The Associated Press.

Bechtel warned Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. in March 2016 they needed to make numerous changes to the way they handled the V.C. Summer project, including hiring someone to enforce contractor accountability.

The utilities in 2014 hired Bechtel to do an independent analysis of the project, which was several years behind schedule. They abandoned construction in July after jointly spending nearly $10 billion.

Utility customers have paid more than $2 billion on the failed project through rate hikes since 2009.

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