JENKINSVILLE — A May 3 visit by Sen. Tim Scott to sites 2 and 3 at the V.C. Summer nuclear facility left him impressed with the state of the art technology being constructed in Fairfield County.
“We know a major part of the economy of the future for our country involves energy. For Fairfield County to be on the cutting edge is good news in the long term,” he said.
Research he has seen shows nuclear to be the least expensive and the most environmentally friendly energy source for the future, leading him to make his long term assessment for this county.
The design and efficiency of the reactor project impressed the senator.
“It is remarkable that you can put two sites in the same space as the first site and that the output of the two new reactors will exceed the old one,” he said. “They are contiguous to the existing reactor. Just remarkable.”
SCANA officials shared with him lessons they learned about safety and the mechanisms they put in place at the plant, such as scenarios the plant took into consideration following the Fukishima disaster in Japan in 2011.
“Chief Nuclear Officer Jeff Archie did a great job articulating the safety position and the production of energy. South Carolina is at the cutting edge in energy (production) and now we know why,” Scott said.
Scott was on a fact finding mission to report back to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. He believes it is important to go to the sites to have a greater appreciation for them and how they contribute to the well being of energy in this country.
“It was a proud day to see how the Fairfield facility is a world class facility and interesting that CNO Archie is from Fairfield. That says a lot about Fairfield and a little bit about the state,” he said. “Hopefully Archie’s example will create a pathway for more employees in the nuclear energy sector who are from Fairfield like (Archie), who has lived here and worked at one of the most successful nuclear plants in the U.S.”
Scott noted that enabling pathways to success includes building pathways to industrial development. A small business owner prior to becoming a senator, he believes in synergy with economic development. As a small business owner, as you grow the nuclear industry other smaller businesses will grow, such as retail, restaurant and service providers.
Scott believes that the anchor tenant will be the nuclear plant and that enabling pathways for people to become workers at the plant will be a key, particularly for the local economy. He said it is important for students to be able to grow up and be excited about potential employment in Fairfield from an educational standpoint, too.
“There is an opportunity here to organically grow success stories. I my opinion Fairfield is on the cusp of that happening,” Scott said. “If we can connect all these pathways, (the county and state) will be in a better position going forward.”
Contact Kevin Boozer at email@example.com or 635-4016 ext. 14 or follow him on Twitter at @kevinboozer.