Nukewatch Quarterly Winter 2021-2022
A former Chairman and CEO of SCANA Corp. in South Carolina, Kevin Marsh, was sentenced to two years in prison for fraud in the construction of two nuclear reactors that never produced a single watt of electricity. Marsh and other officials knowingly covered up various failings during construction of the “Westinghouse AP1000” reactors at the VC Summer site, in order to win rate increases and to $2.2 billion in tax credits. “Due to this fraud,” said acting US attorney M. Rhett DeHart, “an $11 billion nuclear ghost town, paid for by SCANA investors and customers, now sits vacant in Jenkinsville, South Carolina.” Both SCANA and Westinghouse were forced into bankruptcy in 2017, and construction at VC Summer was halted, leaving 5,000 workers unemployed. Marsh has paid $5 million in fines in a plea agreement. This case follows a July 2017 Westinghouse fraud scandal in which Senior VP Jeffrey Benjamin was charged with 16 felonies and could face up to 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine. Three other Westinghouse officials pleaded guilty to charges. In 2020, federal prosecutors accused Ohio’s Republican House Speaker Larry Householder and four associates of funneling $60 million in bribes to themselves in exchange for passing a financial bailout of the state’s decrepet old reactors. Power corrupts of course, but nuclear power means corruption on steroids.