Cherokee Co. nuclear site in trouble after contractor bankruptcy

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A contractor that went bankrupt on the VC Summer project, was scheduled to make the reactor at the Lee Project site in Cherokee County.

Westinghouse was hired by SCANA and Santee Cooper to build two AP 1000 reactors. The project ended suddenly Monday, just two months after Westinghouse, a subsidiary of Toshiba, went bankrupt.

Nearly 5,000 people are reported to be out of work.

The project failure brings back memories of the shut down of the nuclear plant build in Cherokee County in 1977. Nearly 30 years after the project shut down, Duke was awarded a new permit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build two reactors again.

As part of that permit, Duke said that they would be using the AP 1000, which is made by Westinghouse, a company that is now bankrupt.

So what does that mean for the future of the Cherokee County Nuclear Plant?

Duke Energy says there is a significant difference between between pursuing a permit and actually moving forward with construction on the site. Duke Energy has not made a final decision about moving forward with the project at this time.

“Our decision on whether to build new generation in the future will be based on what is in the best interest of our customers, and on many factors such as energy needs, project costs, environmental regulations, natural gas prices, existing or future legislative provision for cost recovery and more,” said Duke Energy spokesperson Ryan Mosier.

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