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V.C. Summer Nuclear Station Prepares for Emergency

V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville has some new equipment to prepare for natural disasters.

Jenkinsville, SC (WLTX) - V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville has some new equipment to prepare for natural disasters.

“Anything that could happen out here we have a way to prepare for it so we have equipment for water, we have equipment for power, we have equipment to remove debris or for communication,” Robert Williamson, Manager of Emergency Planning for South Carolina Electric And Gas explained.

He led Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Stephen G. Burns on a tour through the plant’s emergency response building filled with FLEX equipment. FLEX is a strategy developed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and nuclear energy community.

It provides multiple, flexible methods to help maintain essential power and water for cooling the plant in case of an emergency by having specialized equipment like fire engines, generators, a portable communications tower, trucks to clear debris and water pumps.

This was all built in response to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan in 2011, when a major earthquake and tsunami disabled the power supply at a nuclear plant causing nuclear meltdowns, chemical explosions and the release of radioactive material.

“What’s important is they’ve got the equipment, they’re teaching people how to use it, and integrating it into what is potentially their the necessity of response if that came to pass,” Burns said.

Burns said the plant is well equipped.

“In terms of recovering from a severe event that the Japanese had, the thinking of how do we do that and I think what you see here really represents both a lot of good thought and a lot of good dedication,” Burns said.

Work continues on Summer's two new nuclear reactors which are said to provide cleaner energy.

The building of the reactors have caused rate hikes for SCE&G customers and customers will continue to see annual increases of about 2 percent until the project is completed. The reactors are expected to be finished by 2020.