SC high court upholds nuke plant approvals

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's Supreme Court has rejected an environmental group's challenge of electricity rate increases to pay for proposed nuclear reactors.

The State newspaper reported the court on Monday upheld the Public Service Commission's decision to allow South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. to increase rates to pay for nuclear reactors in Fairfield County.

SCE&G is working with state-owned utility Santee Cooper to build two nuclear-powered generators for a total cost of $10 billion. SCE&G has said it will save $1 billion by increasing rates now instead of waiting until the first reactor comes online in 2016.

Friends of the Earth had argued regulators failed to sufficiently review the need for the plants, but the justices disagreed.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.