Report: SC-owned utility paid bonuses for failed nuclear project

FILe - In this Sept. 16, 2016 file photo, a cap for a containment building for the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station is shown near Jenkinsville, S.C., during a media tour of the facility. South Carolina’s utilities are abandoning two partly-built nuclear reactors. And they want permission to charge customers another $5 billion to cover their costs. An environmentalist says that money could have gone to renewable energy. Others say nuclear is key to cooling the planet and won’t exist if the federal government doesn’t finance it. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Top executives of the state-owned utility Santee Cooper were paid bonuses for the now-failed effort to build two nuclear reactors in South Carolina.

The State newspaper reported Santee Cooper executives were paid more than $70,000 in bonuses since 2011 for the now-abandoned project.

Santee Cooper was a 45 percent partner with South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. to build reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station they operate in Fairfield County.

The utilities said July 31 they were giving up on a nearly decade-long effort, citing expenses and construction delays.

They had spent about $10 billion so far. Santee Cooper Chief Executive Lonnie Carter announced his retirement last week.

SCE&G paid nearly $21 million in bonuses to top executives, some of which was for reaching milestones in the nuclear project.

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