COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Workers fired by the abandonment of a nuclear power project in South Carolina packed the Statehouse on Wednesday as legislators pledged to overhaul the utility review process that allowed the multibillion-dollar debacle.
The “catastrophic” end of the project at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station shows the current regulatory process doesn’t adequately protect residents or the state as a whole, said Rep. James Smith, a Columbia Democrat.
The abrupt end to a project customers have been funding since 2009 put about 6,000 people out of work.
Employees of its more than 100 contractors said they were given just minutes Monday to collect their belongings and leave.
“It’s tough for both of us to have zero income,” said Angela Jones of Lexington, a mother of two whose husband also worked at the site.
The project accounts for 18 percent of SCE&G’s residential electric bills and more than 8 percent of Santee Cooper’s. Neither company plans to refund a dime. And executives with SCE&G’s parent company, SCANA, told regulators Tuesday they want permission to recover an additional $5 billion in costs over 60 years.
“Where we sit today is 180 degrees from that position,” Finlay said. “Us, our children and, if the plan is to be believed, our grandchildren will be paying for the colossal mistakes that have been made.”