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Utility to pay millions to preserve abandoned reactor site

COLUMBIA (AP) South Carolina’s state-owned utility says it will pay millions per year to preserve equipment and parts at an abandoned nuclear reactor site.

Local news media report Santee Cooper’s acting board chairman told Gov. Henry McMaster in a letter Feb. 21 that it expects to pay about $16 million annually to ensure the unfinished reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station are not ruined and about $3 million per year for storage warehouses.

Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. abandoned the project last summer following the bankruptcy of lead contractor Westinghouse.

SCE&G and Santee Cooper are expected to sell some equipment to Southern Co., the Georgia utility that’s building a pair of identical reactors south of Augusta. Reports estimate the parts could be salvaged for more than $860 million.

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