South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) has filed a formal request with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to withdraw the combined operating licenses (COLs) for the unfinished two new nuclear reactors at the VC Summer Nuclear Station in South Carolina.

The request from the SCANA subsidiary follows NRC notification issued in July 2017 that SCE&G had ceased construction activities on the units 2 and 3 at the VCS nuclear site.

SCANA CFO Iris Griffin said: "This notification is consistent with our plans for abandonment and helps to ensure we qualify for a tax deduction in 2017 so that we can capture approximately $2bn for our customers to offset the costs of the new nuclear project.”

In the notification to the NRC, SCE&G states that it has decided to abandon its interests in the VCS Units 2 and 3.

SCE&G earlier said that it has decided to abandon construction plan after considering the additional expenditure it will have to bear to complete the units as well as the uncertainty over the project’s qualification for production tax credits.

The firm, however, is also offering its share in the project to its project partner Santee Cooper, for no consideration.

The company said: “If, prior to the NRC approval of this request to withdraw the COLs, Santee Cooper chooses to seek to become the sole licensee for the project, SCE&G will support an application to the NRC to transfer the licenses to Santee Cooper.”

In August, Santee Cooper also announced its decision to abandon the project to save $11.4bn for its customers. The firm had already spent close to $4.7bn for the construction and interest to date relating to its 45% ownership share.

Image: The V C Summer Nuclear Station Unit 1 in South Carolina. Photo: courtesy of DJSlawSlaw/