SCE&G already is ramping up hiring as it begins building in earnest two new nuclear reactors at its V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville.
The Cayce-based electric utility received final federal approval for the $9.8 billion reactors last month.
“There are jobs,” said William A. Fox III, Shaw Power Group Nuclear Division vice president and project director at the site in western Fairfield County. Officials Monday gave a media tour of the site north of Columbia.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave operating licenses two weeks ago to SCE&G, a subsidiary of SCANA Corp., and state utility Santee Cooper to build the plants to meet future power needs.
SCE&G said it had about 1,000 workers doing site preparation before the licenses were issued. By Monday, the company had added about 300 workers and supervisory personnel as construction ramped up on projects such as new management offices and a containment dome for one of the reactors.
Ultimately, building the reactors could create up to 3,000 construction jobs for welders, ironworkers, plumbers and other tradesmen. Once the reactors are complete, as many as 800 permanent workers will be needed to operate them.
Fox said workers could apply for jobs with the company online at sceg.com (click on “careers at SCE&G”).
SCE&G said it has lowered its projected construction costs for the reactors by about $50 million and has adjusted its construction timeline due to new agreements with Westinghouse Electric Company, which will design the two 1,117-megawatt reactors, and The Shaw Group Inc., which will manage nuclear construction.
The first unit is expected to begin operating in 2017, a year later than originally projected. And the second unit is set to begin operating a year earlier than projected in 2018.
Fairfield County Council Chairman David L. Ferguson Sr. said the county does not have a fully trained workforce to operate the plant.
However, Ferguson said a Midlands Technical College satellite in one of the county’s newly-upgraded industrial parks could go a long way toward helping resolve that issue and keep more of the financial benefits of the new plants in western Fairfield County.