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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. has formally asked federal authorities to let it withdraw its operating licenses for a failed nuclear reactor construction project.

The utility, a subsidiary of SCANA Corp., announced Thursday it filed the request with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The move was expected as the power company seeks to show it has given up on the unfinished reactors and is eligible for a $2 billion tax write-off.

Over the summer, SCE&G and Santee Cooper abandoned their joint effort to build the new reactors in Fairfield County after spending more than $9 billion. Both blamed the failure on the bankruptcy by contractor Westinghouse.

SCE&G customers have already faced a series of rate hikes since 2009 to help pay for the project, without any power being generated.