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New Santee Cooper CEO to take helm of co-owner of failed nuclear project

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MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's state-owned utility is expected to name an interim CEO to take the helm amid the fallout of a multi-billion-dollar nuclear power failure.

Santee Cooper's board meets Friday about the temporary replacement for Lonnie Carter, who announced his impending retirement last month. He remains the only executive involved with the scuttled project to leave.

The public utility and private South Carolina Electric & Gas abandoned construction July 31 after jointly spending nearly $10 billion and charging customers $2 billion in interest fees since 2009.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster backed Steve Hamm, the current interim director of the state ethics agency. The governor appoints all of Santee Cooper's board members.

McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes calls Hamm an "agent of change" who will do what's best for customers.

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