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Unprotected Commodities, Empty Parking Lots, and Abandoned Steam Generators litter SCE&G’s VC Summer Nuclear Site

New Aerial Photos of SCE&G’s VC Summer Nuclear Construction Site Released – Reveal Scattered Unprotected Equipment across the Site, Unused Rings of Reactor Shield Building & Little Vehicular Activity or Evidence of Work

Photos from October 7, 2017 Linked Here:  https://tinyurl.com/ycbubzys

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Friends of the Earth today publicized new aerial photos of South Carolina Electric & Gas’ abandoned nuclear reactor construction project at the V.C. Summer site in Fairfield County, South Carolina.

The photos of the construction site and of existing single reactor were legally taken by pilot High Flyer and can be used on approval and with credit.  (See message below about photo use.)

“The photos reveal that SCE&G must publicly release its plan about what is happening at the abandoned site, which looks like a nuclear scrap yard,” said Tom Clements, senior adviser with Friends of the Earth.  “As SCE&G is incurring costs due to unknown activities at the site the company is assuming risks for any unauthorized spending taking place at the site,” added Clements.  “The PSC and ORS must demand that SCE&G reveal, in the required quarterly reports, what activities are taking place at the site.”

A host of unidentified commodities lacking protection from the weather can be seen all across the site and in storage yards. It is unknown if these materials will be stored, auctioned for use or sold as scrap.  It is believed that valuable components, such as valves and pumps, are stored in the many tents on the site and that they are being serviced to prevent them from freezing up.

Of note, completed rings of the “shield building,” the ventilated structure that was under construction over the reactors, can be seen abandoned before they were put in place. Lacking shield building roofs, the modules placed in the reactors sit exposed to the weather. Additional, unassembled shield building rings can be seen stacked in the construction site. Such materials, built via new construction techniques and for use only with AP1000 reactors, may have little resale value according to Friends of the Earth.

SCE&G remains silent if the reactors are being abandoned or are being mothballed. In any event, costs now being incurred at the site have not been presented to the South Carolina Public Service Commission for approval and are thus being incurred at the risk of the company.  (See Friends of the Earth letter of October 20 linked below, to PSC and Office of Regulatory Staff.)

Of special note, two steam generators, in plastic wrap, can be seen on the ground near the large modular assembly building. It is unknown if these expensive components, imported via Charleston, SC from South Korea , will be protected and stored or sold as scrap. (See SCE&G video on placement of first steam generator, January 11, 2017 and Westinghouse news release on January 12, 2017)

Friends of the Earth wrote to the PSC and the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) on October 20, noting that SCE&G must comply with the requirement of the Baseload Review Act and file its next quarterly construction report.  There has been no release of the report filing requirement by the PSC.  (See Friends of the Earth letter, posted in Docket 2008-196-E, linked here.)

In a new twist in problems facing the failed reactor project, Friends of the Earth filed a complaint on October 20 with the SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR) requesting an investigation into use by Westinghouse of improperly licensed staff to prepare reactor design drawings.  See complaint, also posted in docket 2008-196-E: https://tinyurl.com/y8tnmysx.

Expert contact: Tom Clements, (803) 834-3084, tomclementssc@gmail.com
Communications contact: Patrick Davis, (202) 222-0744, pdavis@foe.org

Message on Photo Use:

The photos were taken by High Flyer, an anonymous pilot who for years has provided photos of the AP1000 projects and the plutonium fuel (MOX) project at DOE’s Savannah River Site. High Flyer is the “nom du plume” of a prominent SC resident who wishes to remain anonymous.

The photos can be used with credit to High Flyer (e.g. Courtesy of High Flyer © 2017), as described in the “Read Me First” message from High Flyer in the link.

Photos must include proper acknowledgement to the author in a prominent position near the Photo insertion:

(e.g. Photo Courtesy of High Flyer ©2017)

Notes:

High Flyer’s photos of VC Summer site, October 4, 2017

High Flyer’s photos of SCE&G’s nuclear reactor construction debacle were publicized in this September 27, 2017 news release by Friends of the Earth:  

Photos by High Flyer of SRS MOX Boondoggle, September 18 – SRS Watch news release of October 10, 2017

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