12 March 2013

Summer, South Carolina: First Construction Start in 36 Years in the US

It was no coincidence. On 11 March 2013, the second anniversary of the start of the Fukushima disaster, SCANA Corporation—company slogan: “Power for Living”—announced the official beginning of the construction of the Virgil C. Summer Unit 2 reactor in Fairfield County, South Carolina. This is the first new nuclear power reactor construction start in the US in 36 years. South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) is a subsidiary of SCANA and plans to complete two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors, close to the operating Virgil C. Summer Unit 1, by 2017 and 2018, respectively. The 900 MWe Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) Unit 1 has been generating power since 1982. The official launch of the construction, with the concreting of the main base slab, had been delayed several times. However, what was meant as a symbolic launch date hardly got any media attention with none of the major news outlets in the US covering the historic event.