Nuclear reactor maker Westinghouse, energy company Scana find buyers

Enlarge / Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Unit 1 (credit: Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

2017 was undoubtedly a challenging year for nuclear power in the US. But last week, two of the major players in 2017's nuclear power drama may have found a path forward, subject to regulator approval.

Westinghouse, the nuclear reactor company owned by Toshiba that went bankrupt in early 2017, may have found a buyer in a Canadian company called Brookfield Business Partners. Similarly Scana, the energy company that owned 55 percent of the VC Summer nuclear buildout in South Carolina, may also be bought up by Virginia-based Dominion Energy.

The drama started early last year, when Westinghouse announced its bankruptcy in March. Westinghouse had been contracted to build four Generation III+ AP1000 reactors for two nuclear plants—Summer in South Carolina and Vogtle in Georgia. The new AP1000 reactors were supposed to be safer and more reliable than previous reactors, but constant conflict with contractors left Westinghouse mired in lawsuits and severely behind schedule and over budget.

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