There are seven nuclear reactors now operating at four sites in South Carolina.  SCE&G plans to bring two more reactors on-line in 2016 and 2019 at their Jenkinsville site, and Duke Energy has plans to build two new reactors in Cherokee County after 2020.

Nuclear power represents over 50% of South Carolina’s power generation capacity, but a portion of the electricity produced from these reactors is sold out of state.

Although electricity from our current nuclear fleet is inexpensive when compared to many other competing sources of power, new nuclear investments require large up-front capital investments that are borne by utility customers prior to the reactors coming on-line.  Additional challenges associated with nuclear waste storage, permitting, cost uncertainty and safety concerns make nuclear a potentially risky investment.

Additional information on nuclear power:

The Economist considers the future of nuclear power, here.

The challenge of decommissioning a nuclear power plant

The cost of new nuclear plants is highly disputed.  A few competing perspectives on the issue can be found here, here, and here.

Japan and the Fukushima nuclear meltdown

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