For the second time in two weeks, Santee Cooper is calling a special board meeting over the possible sale of a portion of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station.

Directors of the state-owned power and water utility will meet by telephone Thursday at 9 a.m. The purpose is to "discuss contract negotiations with regard to new nuclear generation."

Most of the meeting will be held behind closed doors. Board members will be patched into a line inside Santee Cooper's boardroom in Moncks Corner.

No action is expected to be taken.

Santee Cooper's board met for the same reason Jan. 11. That closed-door meeting lasted nearly two hours.

The utility is responsible for 45 percent of the costs of adding two reactors to the nuclear power station north of Columbia.

Santee Cooper has estimated it will have to spend a total of $5.1 billion on construction and other expenses associated with the Jenkinsville project.

It began to look at cutting its ownership about four years ago, after its biggest customer announced it would shift some of its business to Duke Energy. No longer needing the extra power in the short term, Santee Cooper began seeking buyers for part of the nuclear project.

Charlotte-based Duke emerged as a potential suitor in mid-2011. It has been negotiating to buy 20 percent of Santee Cooper's stake, or about 9 percent of the total.

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. owns the other 55 percent of the nuclear plant.

Any sale would have to be approved in a public vote by Santee Cooper's board, which is scheduled to hold its regular meeting Monday in Moncks Corner.

The new nuclear reactors are expected to come online in 2018 and 2019.