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      SCE&G taking nuclear unit offline for refueling

      V.C. Summer Nuclear Station / FILE

      JENKINSVILLE, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. is taking a unit at its Fairfield County nuclear plant offline as part of a scheduled refueling outage.

      The company says the outage Friday is the 19th for the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station since the plant began commercial operation in 1984.

      About one-third of V.C. Summer's 157 uranium fuel assemblies are replaced every 18 months. The outages let workers do preventative maintenance work that they can't do while the plant is in operation.

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      SCE&G operates the station about 25 miles northwest of Columbia. The company wants to build two new, 1,100-megawatt reactors at the site to be jointly owned and operated with the state-owned utility, Santee Cooper. Officials expect the first new reactor to generate power by 2016, and the second in 2019.

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)