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PostPosted: Jan 24, 2018 11:08 am 
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Gov. McMaster joins call to stop S.C. nuclear plant payments, casting doubt on utility sale

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Gov. Henry McMaster changed course Tuesday and said he's convinced South Carolina Electric & Gas should be forced to eat the costs of its failed nuclear project after a key government audit cast doubt on the power company's claim it would be bankrupted by the colossal bill. His announcement hammered the stock price of SCE&G parent SCANA Corp. — a slide that suggests Wall Street thinks its proposed sale to Dominion Energy could go up in smoke. SCANA shares are sitting 25 percent under Dominion's proposed purchase price.


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PostPosted: Jan 25, 2018 11:34 am 
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Toshiba learns a painful lesson about oversight

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It was against this backdrop that Toshiba approved Westinghouse's purchase in December 2015 of S&W for zero dollars.


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PostPosted: Feb 01, 2018 1:17 pm 
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S.C. House passes bill to halt nuclear-related payments to SCE&G, possibly dooming Dominion takeover

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With pressure mounting, the South Carolina House voted Wednesday to temporarily halt $37 million in monthly payments to SCANA, threatening a proposed takeover by Dominion Energy. State representatives ignored urgent pleas from SCANA, once the darling of South Carolina's business community, by overwhelmingly supporting a bill that relieves the Cayce-based company's electric customers from paying for two useless nuclear reactors at V.C. Summer station — for now. "We need to protect the ratepayer. That is our job. That is what we were elected to do," House Speaker Jay Lucas said during a rare speech from the House floor.


I really have no idea how SCE&G thought they could possibly get ratepayers to continue to pay for a reactor that they had quit building....but what do I know?


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PostPosted: Feb 14, 2018 8:06 pm 
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7 football fields worth of nuclear equipment gathering dust in SCE&G warehouses

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Nearly seven football fields worth of unused nuclear parts and equipment are gathering dust in two SCE&G warehouses, a state utility regulator said Tuesday. The parts, which the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff estimates are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, once were destined for two new nuclear reactors under construction at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Fairfield County. But that project was abandoned last July by SCE&G and the state-owned Santee Cooper utility after they had spent $9 billion on the decadelong project, ruined by construction delays and cost overruns. Now, the equipment’s future is unknown, as the valves and components sit idle in two massive, off-site storage warehouses leased by the two utilities. The companies are paying nearly $2.5 million per year to lease the warehouses, Santee Cooper said Wednesday.


But SCE&G wants ratepayers to keep paying for this.


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PostPosted: Feb 22, 2018 11:36 pm 
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SCANA reports major financial losses as nuclear headache continues

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The Cayce-headquartered company reported a loss of $119 million, or 83 cents a share, for 2017, compared with earnings of $595 million, or $4.16 a share, for 2016, according to a news release from the utility Thursday. The company said the loss primarily was because of the abandoned nuclear construction project. SCANA reported its SCE&G subsidiary wrote off $908 million of the project’s value during the fourth quarter, an after-tax loss of $559 million. That move wrecked SCANA’s profits for the quarter and year.


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PostPosted: Mar 06, 2018 10:05 pm 
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Toshiba's finances on track to regain pre-crisis levels

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A successful sale could tack another 200 billion yen ($1.88 billion) onto the company's net worth, which Toshiba projected at 460 billion yen for the end of March in third-quarter earnings released Feb. 14. That would bring the shareholder's equity ratio to 16.1% -- close to the 17.1% it had for the year through March 2015, the year before an accounting scandal came to light, inflicting a wound that huge losses at Westinghouse then deepened.


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PostPosted: Mar 11, 2018 8:37 am 
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Could the fate of the nuclear surcharge come down to a 3.5 x 7 piece of paper?

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And one is an official notice from the Public Service Commission, all black and white in type so tiny I can barely make out all the words with my contacts in. It tells customers how they can comment on the merger. It’s the sort of notice we get whenever SCE&G applies for a rate increase that is not related to the nuclear construction project the company abandoned this summer. It’s the sort of notice that we did not get on the nine occasions when the utility filed for permission to raise rates to pay for the nuclear construction project. And the absence of those notices could decide the multi-billion-dollar battle over who pays for the failed project. That, in turn, could determine whether SCANA, South Carolina’s lone Fortunate 500 company, remains a Fortune 500 company, or goes bankrupt, or becomes part of Dominion, Virginia’s giant utility.


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PostPosted: Mar 12, 2018 9:25 am 
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Guest edit: Nothing about the S.C. nuclear debacle was prudent

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SCANA and Santee Cooper agreed in 2008 to move forward with construction on two new nuclear reactors without a final design, with an estimated price tag of more than $10 billion, which would eventually nearly double. The Westinghouse design was new and untested, as evidenced by the multiple revisions – including as late as 2011 – the company submitted to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Westinghouse knew that design issues might be a problem, according to correspondence from its CEO Danny Roderick obtained by two environmental groups and detailed in a Post and Courier report on Tuesday. But Westinghouse officials pushed back when SCANA and Santee Cooper started to raise concerns about delays and cost overruns almost immediately after construction began in 2013. The same emails suggest that Westinghouse, SCANA and Santee Cooper kept customers and shareholders – and state regulators – in the dark. In the meantime, both utilities proceeded to periodically and substantially raise rates in order to pay for a project they knew was likely to go over budget and fall behind schedule – if they could complete it at all. In fact, customers are still paying those higher rates, more than eight months after the reactors were abandoned.


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PostPosted: Apr 05, 2018 11:02 am 
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How hedge funds are suing nuclear plant contractors that South Carolina utilities didn't

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Westinghouse's nuclear reactor business had become a "de facto Ponzi scheme" by the time it foundered — a money pit that could only be filled by signing up more and more customers to build power plants. That's the case laid out in bankruptcy court filings by Citigroup and a group of hedge funds that have set out to do what a pair of South Carolina power companies didn’t: squeeze more money from the troubled company that could lower power bills for customers.


Uh-huh. But does this surprise anyone? Westinghouse had structured the Vogtle and Summer contracts as "loss-leaders"....they had to get more business after these reactors.

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They accuse Westinghouse of running a project that was "blatantly mismanaged for years." They accuse the company of pulling off an "'extend and pretend' scheme" to string the utilities along for years.


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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2018 8:17 pm 
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Westinghouse CEO opens up about collapse of 2000s 'nuclear renaissance'

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Moreover, the four nuclear power plants that Westinghouse Electric set about building were the first in the U.S. in about 30 years, after construction of new nuclear plants was halted in the wake of the Three Mile Island accident in 1979. The projects were also hit by swelling costs caused by major delays in the construction schedule, and as Westinghouse Electric's parent company Toshiba suffered huge losses, the American subsidiary ended up filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Gutierrez believes that the loss of expertise in construction was a factor behind the failed construction projects, stating that, "A lot of vendors were not necessarily very well prepared for this."


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PostPosted: May 10, 2018 8:42 am 
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Rick Perry: Saudi Arabia should sign nuclear energy deal with US

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Energy Secretary Rick Perry prodded Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to sign a nuclear energy agreement with the U.S., warning the oil-rich kingdom that it risks missing out on an opportunity to show its commitment to using nuclear power responsibly. "If they don't, the message will be clear to the rest of the world that the kingdom is not as concerned about being leaders when it comes to nonproliferation in the Middle East," Perry said in testimony before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. The Trump administration is considering allowing the Saudis to enrich and reprocess uranium as part of what’s known as a nuclear cooperation agreement, or a “123 agreement.” Saudi Arabia plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 to 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion, according to the World Nuclear Association, and the Trump administration wants the U.S. to have a piece. U.S. officials discussed a possible deal with Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he recently visited the White House.


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