Jenkinsville, SC (WLTX) - Construction on two new nuclear reactors is underway at the VC Summer Nuclear Station at a site that's been producing nuclear power for 30 years.
"We are trying to diversify the fuel portfolio," said Stephen Byrne with SCE&G. "We dont want all our eggs in the coal, natural gas, or nuclear basket."
Byrnes says just over a year into the reactor construction though, the multi-billion dollar project is behind schedule. However, it is still within an 18 month grace period given by South Carolina's Office of Regulatory Staff.
"The individual structural modules that may go inside that vessel or inside an auxiliary building will be manufactured in Louisiana and trucked to the site," Byrne said.
SCE&G says that Louisiana site isn't doing their job fast enough, meaning work at the reactor site slows down. New projections estimate the site won't be complete until 2017 at an estimated cost of $200 million.
"The timeline right now is within a contingency timeframe the public service commission allows us to have," Byrne said.
"They should have discovered and found and examined the facility to see if the site could meet the construction schedule and fabricate the necessary components," said Tom Clements, a nuclear campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth.
Clements believes their could be more construction hiccups as the project enters some of the most complicated building phases.
"There's no way rates are going to go down when the project is completed," Clements said.
SCE&G maintains though, even though behind schedule, the completed nuclear facility will lower it's customer's power bill.
"When the project is finished, and everything holds together as it does now, we should actually see a small rate decrease at that point," Byrne said.