Another lawsuit filed against SCE&G, Santee Cooper over failed nuclear project

FILE - This April 9, 2012 file photo shows construction well underway for two new nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, S.C. South Carolina's state-owned public utility has voted to stop construction on two billion-dollar nuclear reactors. The reactors were set to be among the first new nuclear reactors built in the U.S. in decades, but the vote by Santee Cooper’s board on Monday, July 31, 2017 likely ends their future. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

Another lawsuit has been filed against the two utilities involved in a failed South Carolina project to build two nuclear reactors.

The latest lawsuit filed Monday is a class action suit on behalf of 10 people in Fairfield County, where the two abandoned reactors were being built to go alongside a working unit at the V.C. Summer plant.

The lawsuit against South Carolina Electric & Gas and state-owned utility Santee Cooper asks a judge to freeze the more than $2 billion the utilities will get from a settlement with Toshiba, which went bankrupt as it built the reactors.

The suit also asks to freeze the profits and dividends of Scana Corp., the parent company of SCE&G.

At least two other lawsuits have already been filed over the failed plants.

Two South Carolina power customers have sued the board of state-owned utility Santee Cooper, accusing it of unconstitutionally raising rates to pay for a failed nuclear power plant project.

Meanwhile, an SCE&G customer has sued its parent company, SCANA, claiming the corporation was negligent in charging customers more than $1 billion to build the nuclear reactors, only to abandon the project.

State-owned utility Santee Cooper and SCE&G decided July 31 to halt construction on two new reactors they'd already jointly spent $10 billion to build, much of that paid by customers.

The project was already years behind schedule and billions over budget when lead contractor Westinghouse declared bankruptcy in March, which voided fixed-price contracts aimed at stopping the escalation.

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