South Carolina Senator working to finish V.C. Summer

Published: Aug. 11, 2017 at 5:09 PM EDT
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Friday, August 11, 2017

BARNWELL COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Senator Lindsey Graham hopes to finish V.C. Summer even after SCANA and Santee Cooper pulled the plug on the nuclear reactors a few weeks ago.

Five years ago, Graham played a key role in getting the country's first nuclear reactor construction permits in more than 30 years. Today he is trying to figure out how to save the abandoned project nine billion dollars later.

"My reaction? What the hell happened?" It's a question Senator Lindsey Graham wants answered. How did Westinghouse go bankrupt after nine billion dollars and several years into the project? Why was there no notice given to the more than 5-thousand employees at V.C. Summer?

"Why did Westinghouse fail? We need to hold people accountable and we need to ask hard questions," Senator Graham said.

Graham plans to meet with the secretary of energy to convince him the U.S. needs nuclear energy and it needs V.C. Summer. "Revitalizing the nuclear industry is a priority to me. Twenty percent of our power comes from nuclear power plants. They are all old and they're aging. I would like to build new ones all over the country."

Senator Graham says he will support the Governor Henry McMaster if he sells Santee Cooper, the state power company, and will work with him to get the reactors finished. "I hope we find a partner with SCANA to build the damn thing. I don't want people to pay for a hole in the ground. This should be a wake up call for the people of South Carolina and the whole country about our industrial base."

Graham says it will cost about five billion dollars to clean up and close down the project. It would cost up to an additional three billion to complete it.