From Bea Wray

Yesterday’s story, Scana Dominion Energy Merger Clears Another Hurdle, is about the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approving the indirect transfer of the operating license for V.C. Summer Unit 1 and of the combined licenses for V.C. Summer Units 2 and 3 from SCANA’s subsidiary, South Carolina Electric & Gas, to Dominion Energy. I saw terminology like “marriage” to refer to the Dominion Energy acquisition of SCANA and “blessing” to refer to NRC’s approval.

Coincidentally for me, yesterday in my personal news realm I also learned that my precious Katherine is engaged to be married! Isn’t her ring lovely? Nearly twenty years ago I graduated with my MBA. People always ask me if I had a best friend from that time and my answer basically goes like this, “I was not sure if my best business school buddy was my classmate, study group leader, and project partner John or his wife Laura. Eventually, I realized it was the family member with whom I most identified: their 2 ½ year old daughter Katherine. Twenty years later Katherine is using words like “marriage” and John is offering things like his “blessing.” This thrills me. They are incredible people doing incredible things.

But the NRC. Who is that? What do they do? I decided to find out. Wikipedia says that the NRC is an “independent agency of the United States government tasked with protecting public health and safety related to nuclear energy.” Well, at least the NRC wasn’t responsible for protecting public wealth (see yesterday’s blog post). The NRC has 17 organizational offices and four regions. They have over a billion dollar annual budget and nearly 4,000 employees being paid an average of more than $250,000 each year. Wikipedia has plenty to say about NRC controversies but I don’t want to dig too deep in this forum.

What I found most interesting was looking at the NRC from their own web site.  Here I found a list of 14 nuclear construction plants and licenses. Of those 14, four are listed as terminated and that does not include VC Summer Unit 2 and VC Summer Unit 3. I admit I don’t fully grasp all that is being laid out here. But I know one thing. If John had 14 daughters and if 6 of their unions ended in termination, he would not be happy.

Another thing I know is that you, and I as well as every South Carolinian have been invited to witness the “marriage” of SCANA and Dominion Energy. We have access to data, open public meetings, and representatives responsible for making important decisions about this potential merger. Will we accept our invitation? Will we pay attention?