I recently watched yet another commercial on Dominion Energy’s buyout of SCANA (SCE&G and V.C. Summer Nuclear Station Units 2 and 3). We live in a time when “trusted” news agencies give us “facts” and talking heads give us “reasons” for all the news in the world. Nowadays, it seems all we Americans want is the “truth” (e.g. conspiracies, pseudoscience and supernatural certainties.) Could the SCE&G buyout situation be supernatural?
Originally in the 1970s, the Westinghouse-designed V.C. Summer Nuclear Station Project was composed of two reactors: Unit 1 and Unit 2. Unit 2 was unceremoniously terminated by SCE&G upper management early in Unit 1’s construction and was buried in an unmarked grave in Fairfield County.
The spirit of Unit 2 was accepting this fate, until a second Unit 2 along with a Unit 3 appeared and grabbed the public spotlight. The Unit 2 ghost appeared and was outraged at SCE&G upper management for ignoring its very existence and placing all their attention on this undeserving project.
To get even, the Unit 2 ghost began haunting construction, engineering, project management and government offices causing officials, engineers and managers to make all kinds of technical, construction and legal blunders.
The spectral misguidance (not the fault of the officials or managers) caused the schedule delays and cost overruns until they were finally uncovered last July. Unit 2’s ghost is still not at rest. It is now trying to make S.C. electric customers suffer for the indignity it has endured by crafting one-sided buyout plans.
I know this argument is total nonsense; though we might see this reasoning on talk radio, cable television or the internet. But as the drama has unfolded, I am not so sure (i.e., we all have had mysterious gremlins raise havoc in our car engines, computers and appliances that required costly repairs, inconvenience and sometimes our sanity).
People in charge of the V.C. Summer project could not have made so many long-lasting bad decisions without help. Incompetent construction management, inadequate engineering, absence of transparency during construction, lack of regulatory oversight, ill-conceived policies and greedy utility executives/stockholders contributed to this existing mess, yet the people in charge have not been held accountable.
Present solutions discount the root causes and will have it all (it will end up being all) South Carolina utility customers assume the financial burden of these officials and managers’ mistakes.
So it couldn’t have been the fault of the people in charge; it had to be a spook that caused this mess. Or maybe it was a conspiracy.