SCE&G pitching changes to nuclear project

State regulators plan today to hear SCE&G's request to make cost and schedule changes for its reactor project at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville.

The utility said it wants to revise some internal milestones, such as equipment delivery dates, in the original plan approved in February by the Public Service Commission. The changes though won't affect the project's completion date or cost, the utility said.

But Friends of the Earth, an environmental group that has contested the $9.8 billion nuclear project, plans to intervene at the hearing.

The group said it wants to "examine potential costs increases and construction delays for the two-unit nuclear reactor project." It also plans to question SCE&G officials about the design of the reactor units, which has been criticized by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today at the commission's headquarters in the Saluda Building at the Synergy Business Park, I-20 and Bush River Road.

Completion of the first unit is set for April 2016, with the second unit beginning operation in January 2019. SCE&G is partnering with state-operated Santee Cooper in the $9.8 billion project.

- Chuck Crumbo