Aiken County Doesn't Land Nuclear Reactor

By: Kristen Cosby
By: Kristen Cosby

September 22, 2005
It’s not the economic news Aiken County leaders were hoping to hear. Nustart Energy is looking at other locations to build a nuclear power plant. And that means hundreds of jobs won’t be coming to Aiken County. News 12 is on your side with who did land the reactors and why this might not be all bad news.

Disappointing news for those who wanted Aiken County’s future to be in nuclear power. SRS is not one of the two states for a nuclear reactor. South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford in the county today expressed his letdown.

“A lot of folks in this community have worked very hard over the years in the larger umbrella of nuclear energy,” Gov. Sanford said.

For two years Aiken County tried to lure the reactor and they made it down to one of six finalists.

In September, state and local leaders met with Nustart Energy in Aiken County to try and seal the deal. But now Bellefonte, Alabama and Grand Gulf, Mississippi will be the new sites. Nustart President Marilyn Kray would not discuss the economic package Aiken County offered her. And she wouldn’t say why SRS did not get the reactor, but she did offer hope that years of work was not wasted.

“We’re not prepared to talk about any attributes in favor or not in another. Our hope, based on the information that we collected on Savannah River is that it would still remain as a very eligible site for a new nuclear plant,” Kray said.

And Governor Sanford believes, if not Nustart, SRS will find a new mission.

“There will be other chances in other things, but what’s critical going forward is that we build on that intellectually and physical foundation that we have at the Savannah River,” Sanford said.

Not landing Nustart means Aiken County is missing out on millions in tax dollars and about 800 jobs.

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